Muchea Last Days


After the completion of the highly successful Project Mercury, a new manned space flight tracking station was established at Carnarvon, 800km to the north.

The variable launch azimuths planned for the Gemini (and later, Apollo) missions would mean that Muchea would only have limited visibility of those flights.

Lewis Wainwright, Muchea’s Station Director, accepted the invitation to lead the new station at Carnarvon.

Muchea prepares to close

“outstanding in the Mercury network”

NASA letter

Edwin P. Hartman, NASA Senior Scientific Representative in Australia sent this letter in November 1963. This is the letter Jack Duperouzel received.

Scan: Colin Mackellar.

NASA letter

Edwin P. Hartman, NASA Senior Scientific Representative in Australia sent this covering letter to Station Director Lewis Wainwright.

The letter reads –

Dear Lewis:

In behalf of Mr. Buckley and myself, I have written letters of appreciation to each of the 43 members of your Muchea staff who were present during the MA-9 operation. Although the letters were all the same (see copy enclosed) I would like very much to have each recipient regard his letter as the personal message it is intended to be.

And more than anything else, Lewis, I would like to convey to you the appreciation of NASA for the outstanding leadership you provided at Muchea. The knowledge is widespread that it was your leadership and the superior performance of staff which your leadership inspired that made the difference between a mediocre and a truly outstanding station at Muchea. We of NASA are all more than pleased that the abilities which you have so clearly demonstrated will continue to be available to us through your Managership of the Carnarvon station.

We offer our thanks, congratulations and best wishes.


Edwin P. Hartman
NASA Senior Scientific Representative in Australia

Thanks to Cathy Wainwright and Kevin Wainwright.

OCR: Colin Mackellar. Emphasis added.

Mercury pin
Lewis Wainwright letter

In February 1964, former Muchea Station Director, Lewis Wainwright, wrote to Muchea staff passing on these words of thanks from Minister of Supply Allen Fairhall.

The letter was written from Carnarvon, where the new station was being built to support Project Gemini.

The letter on the left was sent to Jack Duperouzel, who left Muchea in June 1963, just after Gordon Cooper’s flight, once it was clear the station would.

The letter on the right went to Leo Hanley (with thanks to Leo’s son, John, for the scan at right.)


End of an era


This TWX was sent to everyone on the Mercury network at the close of Muchea Tracking Station.

Sent at 0300 GMT, 28 February 1964.

Full TWX. Larger.

Preserved by Jack Duperouzel. Scanned by Colin Mackellar.



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