DSS-43 Opening


 

Friday April 13th 1973

DSS-43

Australian Prime Minister E. G. (Gough) Whitlam
declares DSS-43 open for business.

Hear the opening ceremony

Apollo 8 Network Status check DSS-43 opening ceremony – 33 minutes / 13.7MB mp3.

On the recording:

0:00 – 4:45 – Australian Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard.

4:45 – 16:00. Australian Prime Minister E. G. Whitlam.

16:00 – 28:50. NASA Administrator James Fletcher.

28:50 – 33:00. Compere Mr Wallbrink.

Photo: Mike Dinn. Audio tape preserved by Mike Dinn.
Digital transfer and noise reduction: Colin Mackellar.


DSS43 Opening Ceremony - 13 April 1973 from Colin Mackellar on Vimeo.

Super 8 mm footage from the ceremony.

Robert Denize (Tidbinbilla 1972-79) has kindly shared his Super 8 footage of the event.

Watch for the timelapse footage of DSS43 turning, and the original antenna, DSS42 adjacent.

Watch above on Vimeo or download the mp4 file (17MB) here.


DSS-43

The new Tidbinbilla 64m antenna on opening day,
Friday 13 April 1973.

Looking northwest from the end of the parking bay (inside the main gate and just past the guard house, opposite the current Visitors Centre).

On the left towers DSS-43, given the name ‘Ballima’.

On the right, behind the Tidbinbilla Operations Building, is the original dish, DSS-42, with the microwave link tower to Honeysuckle Creek to the right of that.

Before most of the guests arrived, Mike Dinn took the photos which are combined above. You can see marquees and seating for the event set up beyond DSS-43.

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Photos: Mike Dinn.
Photos combined and colour correction by Colin Mackellar.


DSS-43 invitation

Mike Dinn’s invitation to the official opening of DSS-43.

Scan: Mike Dinn.


VIP Visitors Book

The Tidbinbilla Visitors’ Book opened to the DSS-43 Dedication Ceremony.

Photo: Colin Mackellar.



When it was built, it was decided to give each antenna at Tid an Aboriginal name. The 64m was named “Ballima”, meaning “very far away”, and the original 26m antenna, DSS-42, was called “Weemala”, meaning “a distant view”.

 

Mike Dinn’s slides of the opening ceremony –

DSS-43

A group of trackers in front of the Apollo wing of the Tidbinbilla Operations Building before the ceremony.

In the right hand group. L-R:

??, Lewis Wainwright, Peter Trost, ??, Kevyn Westbrook.

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DSS-43

Tidbinbilla ladies in front of the Operations Building before the ceremony, with the marquees and the powerhouse behind.

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Tidbinbilla ladies in front of the Operations Building before the ceremony, with DSS-43 as a backdrop.

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Members of the official party.

(I seem to recall the man in the right foreground is a Network Seven TV reporter. Does anyone know? – CM.)

Large unlabelled, Larger unlabelled. Larger labelled.


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The podium.

Gerald M. Truszynski, Associate Administrator Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition, is seated at the centre of picture (just to the left of the film camera in centre).


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Invited guests. (Can you name anyone in this photo? – CM.)

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NASA Administrator James Fletcher.

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NASA Administrator James Fletcher. Detail.


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Dr Fletcher presents Prime Minister Whitlam with a model of the Pioneer 10 / 11 spacecraft.


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Dr Fletcher presents a photo of DSS-43 to Deputy Prime Minister Barnard. (detail)


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Dr Fletcher presents a photo of DSS-43 to Deputy Prime Minister Barnard.


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Mr Wallbrink is the compere for the proceedings.

Closest to camera: Paul Mullen at right.

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The crowd watches the ‘demonstration of antenna movement’.

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The crowd watches the ‘demonstration of antenna movement’. (detail)


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The plaque, on display in front of the podium.

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The plaque. Large, Larger.


DSS-43

The plaque outside the CDSCC Visitors Centre in March 2012.
Photo: Colin Mackellar.





DSS-43

DSS-43 tracking the Phoenix lander as it approaches Mars.

This was taken just a few feet from the second view on this page.

Photo: Colin Mackellar, 12 May 2008.