From George T Williams -- "Track"
Subject: A msg to the HSK Apollo 11@ 35 Reunion
From: George T Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 21:48:52 -0500
I am George T. (Tom ) Williams from Houston Texas USA. I was the leader
of the Philco contractor group manning the TRACK console during the
Apollo Missions. I had the pleasure of reporting to, and working with,
Tom Sheehan the NASA head of the Instrumentation Support Team (IST) Track
I have viewed your web site "Apollo 11 35th Anniversary" containing
messages with words and accolades describing Honeysuckle Creeks' (HSK)
Tracking Station personnel's "extreme competence", "unlimited
dedication","impeccable and tireless support", etc, in support of Apollo
11, coming from some very distinguished participants in the Apollo 11 and
other Apollo missions.
I was on the TRACK console during the Apollo 11 Lunar landing and several
of the other Apollo missions, worked with HSK, and I STRONGLY AGREE and
APPLAUD all that has been said.
The location of the tracking stations in Honeysuckle Creek (HSK)
Australia, along with tracking stations in Madrid (RID) Spain and
Goldstone California (GDS) USA, allowed the precise navigation and
communication required to fly Lunar missions from planet Earth. I know
the preceding statement doesn't tell you anything you don't already know.
However, I just wish we could broadcast to the World that HSK (let us not
forget the tracking stations at Tidbinbilla (NBE) and Carnarvon (CRO) and
the big dish at Parkes) not only just "supported" the Apollo missions,
but in addition, was a vital link in the "success" of the Apollo program.
The Apollo missions produced many heros (and rightly so), including the
astronauts that walked on the surface of the Moon and the flight
controllers in the "front room" that made the critical calls and
decisions that allowed the Landings to occur and the crew's safe return
to the earth.
I believe there are individuals in flight support that because of deeds
and extraordinary accomplishments during the Apollo program fall into the
"hero" category, but those individuals can only be recognized by their
peers. The general public would just not understand. I believe you will
have some of those heros at your celebration/reunion in Canberra on July
Have a GREAT party.
Apollo Houston Track
PS- In the video clip we sent you, I invited you folks, if you ever make
it to Houston Texas and if its timely, to join us (mostly old retired
guys),at the monthly Instrumentation Support Team- Old Timers (IST-OT)
luncheon at the Outpost Tavern in Webster Texas near NASA. Tom Sheehan
tells me I made an error and said we (the IST-OT) meet on the "Third"
Thursday of the month , vice the "fourth" Thursday, which is correct,
unless there is a conflict with a holiday. Tom left me with the
impression I should correct the error. He Still keeps the pressure on
even after 38 years!