Over the years, many visitors
came to Honeysuckle Creek, including a number of astronauts.

Visitors included Alan Shepard, Harrison Schmitt, Walt Cunningham, David Scott, Jack Swigert, Tom Stafford, Thomas Paine, Christopher Kraft and many others.

Here are some of Honeysuckle’s visitors –

Astronaut Harrison Schmitt
Dr. William Pickering
Dr. Philip Chapman
Dr. George Mueller and the MSFN Inspection Team
Astronaut Alan Shepard
Dr. Thomas Paine
Astronaut Jack Swigert
Astronaut Tom Stafford
Ozro Covington and Dale Call
Governor-General Lord Richard Casey
Renzo di Carrobio and General Robert Aubinière

Howard Kyle
Astronaut Jim Irwin new

Visitors Book

Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – 03 May 1973

Laurie Turner and Jack Schmitt

Honeysuckle had visits from many of the astronauts, some giving the station staff a talk.

On 3 May 1973 Laurie Turner from the Telemetry section is pictured talking to Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17, the second last man to leave the Moon’s surface. (And the last man to step onto it! )

Schmitt was the only geologist astronaut to visit the Moon.

Photo and caption: Hamish Lindsay. Scan from negative: Colin Mackellar.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Harrison Schmitt

Dr. Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17) signing the master signature sheet in the canteen during his visit to HSK on 3 May 1973.

Large, Larger.

Standing L–R: (obscured?), Gerry Spear, Jim Kirkpatrick, Bill Waugh, Les Paal, Les Hughes, Martin Geasley, Don Gray (Station Director), Bernard Smith.

Seated L–R: Bryan Sullivan, Cyril Fenwick, Tony Gerada.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Bryan Sullivan.

Harrison Schmitt

Dr. Schmitt presented this memento during his visit.

“To Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station
This was our view of AOS. Many thanks!

Harrison H Schmitt
Apollo XVII

3 May 1973.”

Scan: John Saxon.

William Pickering – 12 January 1969

William Pickering at Honeysuckle

Dr. William Pickering is pictured being seen off by Station Director Tom Reid on 12th January 1969.

Born in 1910 in Wellington, New Zealand, Dr William Pickering joined JPL during WWII and with his people, engineering skills and expertise in telemetry, became its Director in 1954. It was his Explorer 1 satellite that first put America in space on 31 January 1958. He died in March 2004.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay. Visitors’ Book entry.

The picture below shows Pickering (left) holding a model of Explorer 1 with James van Allen and Wernher von Braun.

Explorer 1

Philip Chapman
Philip Chapman

Australia’s first astronaut, Dr Philip Chapman (left) came to have a look at Honeysuckle Creek and was shown over by Deputy Director Ian Grant.

Dr Chapman was born in Melbourne in 1935 but grew up in Sydney. He graduated from Sydney University and in 1958 was stationed at our Mawson Base in Antarctica for two years.

In May 1967 he became an American citizen to realise his dream to become an astronaut with NASA. He was selected in the 6th intake on 4 August 1967 and joined the elite band of Apollo astronauts.

Unfortunately the nearest he came to enter space was as an Apollo 14 scientist. With no sign of a berth in the foreseeable future he decided he didn’t want to wait, and left NASA in July 1972 to pursue other interests.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay.

George E. Mueller and the Manned Space Flight Network Inspection Team – 6 January 1967

Network Inspection Trip

On 6 January 1967, members of the Manned Space Flight Network Inspection Team, led by George Mueller, visited Honeysuckle Creek. They visited the Wing at Tidbinbilla the next day.

This signed poster was presented to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Supply, Lloyd Bott. He had helped organise their trip around Australia.

Photo: Ken Sheridan, image enhancement Colin Mackellar.

Here’s the Visitors Book entry for the day.


Members of the MSFN Inspection Team at Honeysuckle Creek.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay, scan by Colin Mackellar.


Here’s a key to those in the photo who could be identified with confidence. (1.2MB PDF file.)


Members of the MSFN Inspection Team at Honeysuckle Creek.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay, scan by Glen Nagle.

George Muller

On 6 January 1967, the Manned Space Flight Network Inspection Team visited the three tracking stations in the ACT.

Hamish Lindsay writes,

“I tagged along as photographer.

Here, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, Dr. George Mueller,(1918 – 2015) is holding an audience of HSK people discussing the antenna boresight television. Behind him from the left is Greg Thrum, STC’s ACT Manager; Station Director Bryan Lowe; Chief Engineer Wes Moon; and seated is Servo Operator Brian Bell.

Born in 1918, Dr Mueller had a brilliant career in the space industry. In his NASA years he was Deputy Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight in 1963, Acting Director of the Apollo Program Office in 1964, and Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight from 1963 to 1969.

Known as the Father of the Space Shuttle, he was also responsible for the ‘all up testing’ of the Saturn V rocket. He tossed out all the cautious existing plans by the rocket engineers and telescoped the trials to speed up progress. Von Braun admitted that without Mueller’s proposals the lunar landing would never have taken place before 1970. Mueller also sketched out the original concept of the Skylab laboratory.

He was awarded three NASA Distinguished Service Medals.

Photo and text by Hamish Lindsay.

Large, Larger. Updated 2015 scan by Hamish Lindsay.

George Muller

Members of the Inspection Team check out the Honeysuckle Creek 85 foot (26 meter) antenna.

Large, Larger.

Behind and to the left of the antenna is the ‘Casa de Collins’ storage shed of Collins Radio.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay, scan by Colin Mackellar.


Alan Shepard – 09 September 1968

Super 8 frame

Deputy Director Mike Dinn welcomes Astronaut Alan Shepard as Hamish Lindsay (at far right) records the moment. Station Director Tom Reid is just visible.

A frame from the Super 8 movie by Ed von Renouard.

Shepard welcome

Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard, Jr. was born in East Derry, New Hampshire, on 18 November 1923 and joined NASA as an astronaut for the Mercury program in April 1959.

He was the first American and the second man in space in Freedom 7 in a sub-orbital flight in May 1961. He commanded Apollo 14 with Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell and made a successful landing on the Moon in 1971.

He visited the station with Dr Eberhardt Rees on 9 September 1968.

Left to right – Ian Homewood (Dept of Supply, Projects Branch), Eberhardt Rees (Wernher von Braun’s Deputy and second Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center), Alan Shepard, Mike Dinn (Deputy Director), Tom Reid (Station Director – just visible behind Mike Dinn).

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Mike Dinn.

Visitors’ Book entry.

Shepard retired on 1 August 1974 and died on 21 July 1998.

Alan Shepard

Eberhardt Rees, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Tom Reid and the Honeysuckle antenna.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Alan Shepard

Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Honeysuckle Station Director Tom Reid.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Alan Shepard

The same moment as captured by Bernard Smith.

Mike Dinn is partly obscured behind Tom Reid. The Department of Supply’s Ian Holmewood watches at right.

Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Alan Shepard and Wally Smallwood's Saturn V

First American in space Alan Shepard talks with Wally Smallwood (left) about his Saturn V model during Shepard’s visit to Honeysuckle Creek on 9 September 1968.

Station Director Tom Reid is on the right.

Large, Larger.

Photo by Bernard Smith, scan by Colin Mackellar.

Alan Shepard et al

Astronaut Alan Shepard visits Honeysuckle on 9th September 1968.

From left to right:

Willson Hunter (Australian NASA Rep), Ian Homewood (Dept of Supply Projects Branch – died 1989), Eberhardt Rees (von Braun’s Deputy, succeeded him), Mike Dinn (Deputy Director), Tom Reid (Station Director) and Alan Shepard (first American in space).

Photo: David Hooper.

Chatting with Alan Shepard

Astronaut Alan Shepard visits Honeysuckle on 9th September 1968.

Photo: David Hooper.

Alan Shepard

HSK Station Director Tom Reid, Astronaut Alan Shepard and Marshall Space Flight Center Director Eberhard Rees at Honeysuckle on 9th September 1968.

Photo: preserved by Mike Dinn, scan by Colin Mackellar.

Thomas Paine – 25 February 1970
Thomas Paine

NASA Administrator Dr Thomas Paine came to see Honeysuckle Creek on 25 February 1970.

Here he is in the computer area watching Geoff Ruck working on a computer frame while Bryan Sullivan (in white shirt) explains its function. Station Director Don Gray (on the left) was his escort.

Born in Berkeley, California, on 9 November 1921, he served as a submarine officer during WWII. He was NASA’s Deputy Administrator from 31 January 1968 until James Webb left when he was elevated to the top job on 21 March 1969.

He was NASA’s third Administrator and steered it through the exciting years of the first Moon landings.

He resigned from NASA on 15 September 1970 and died on 4 May 1992.

Photo and text by Hamish Lindsay.

Thomas Paine

NASA Administrator Dr Thomas Paine addresses a gathering under the antenna at Honeysuckle Creek on 25 February 1970.

Photo from the Tidbinbilla archives. Copy by Colin Mackellar.

Jack Swigert – 03 May 1972

Jack Swigert

Astronaut John L. Swigert was born in Denver, Colorado, on 30 August 1931 and was a fighter pilot in Japan and Korea before joining NASA on 4 April 1966. He was Assignment Support for the Apollo 7 and 11 missions and rose to back-up crew for Apollo 13. He replaced Ken Mattingly for the ill-fated Apollo 13 voyage to the Moon in April 1970.

He paid a visit to Honeysuckle Creek on Tuesday 2 May 1972, shown here giving the station staff a lecture in the crew room. He left NASA on 1 August 1977 for political aspirations but died of cancer on 27 December 1982.

Photo and text by Hamish Lindsay.

Tom Stafford – 12 January 1969

Tom Stafford

Lieutenant General Tom Stafford was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma on 17 September 1930 and enjoyed an illustrious space career.

He joined the NASA astronaut team in their second intake with the likes of Armstrong, Borman, Lovell, Conrad etc in 1962 and began in space as Wally Schirra’s pilot in Gemini VI. He commanded Gemini IX with Gene Cernan, then commanded the Apollo 10 mission with John Young and Gene Cernan that paved the way for
Apollo 11.

He ended his space flights commanding the International Apollo-Soyuz mission with Deke Slayton and Vance Brand. He left NASA in 1975 to return to the US Air Force, retiring on 1 November 1979.

He paid a quick visit to Honeysuckle Creek on 12 January 1969 where he was shown around by Station Director Tom Reid. Visitors’ Book entry.

Photo and text by Hamish Lindsay.

Tom Stafford

Lieutenant General Tom Stafford Tom Stafford – astronaut, departing Honeysuckle, 12 January 1970.

L-R: Willson Hunter, NASA Senior Scientific Rep to Australia,
Lt. Gen. Tom Stafford,
Mr Ian Homewood, Assistant Secretary (Projects),
Tom Reid, Station Director.

Photo by Hamish Lindsay. 2019 scan by Glen Nagle.

Ozro Covington, Dale Call, Willson Hunter – 07 February 1969


Ozro Covington

On a sunny summer day, 7 February 1969, Ozro M. Covington and Dale W. Call from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland paid Honeysuckle Creek a visit.

From left: Willson Hunter (NASA Senior Science Rep in Canberra), Tom Reid (Station Director), Ozro Covington, Dale Call, and Bob Leslie (previously Station Director at Tidbinbilla).

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Updated scan: Colin Mackellar.

Governor-General Lord Casey – 28 August 1967


Lord Casey at HSK 1967

Lord Richard Casey, Governor-General of Australia, visited Honeysuckle Creek on 28th August 1967.

He is shown here at the Servo console, looking through the window to the antenna.

Chief Engineer Wes Moon is on the right, Station Director Tom Reid is just visible behind him.

Richard Gardiner Casey (1890 – 1976) trained as an Engineer. Before becoming Governor-General in 1965, he had held several ministerial positions in the Liberal Government, including several terms as Minister-in-Charge of the CSIR (later CSIRO).

He was a key player in supporting Radioastronomy in Australia. He campaigned to build the 210 foot (64 metre) Radiotelescope at Parkes, and persuaded the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Commonwealth Government to provide sizeable grants.

He was elected to the fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science in 1966 in recognition of his conspicuous service to the cause of science. In 1969, he was named Australian of the Year, and the third Australian Antarctic Base was named after him.


Ambassador Renzo di Carrobio and General Robert Aubinière – 08 May 1970


ELDO Council

Mike Dinn welcomes members of the ELDO Council to Honeysuckle on 8th May 1970. This photo was taken at the Servo console.

Left to right: ELDO Secretary General, Ambassador Renzo di Carrobio, Mike Dinn, General Robert Aubinière, first Director General of the French space agency.

ELDO, the European Launcher Development Organisation, is now part of the European Space Agency.

ELDO Council

Mike Dinn with members of the ELDO Council at Honeysuckle on 8th May 1970.

Renzo di Carrobio, Mike Dinn, General Robert Aubinière.

Thanks to Mike Dinn.

ELDO Council

This photo taken at Honeysuckle on 8th May 1970 appears to be of the same ELDO group.

Deputy Station Director Ian Grant, at right, acts as guide. His counterpart, Mike Dinn, second from right, is looking on from the Servo console.

Photo found in the Tidbinbilla archives.

Howard Kyle – 26 April 1969


Johnson Space Center Director Christopher C. Kraft presents an award to Howard Kyle at Houston in 1981.

Howard Kyle visited Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla in April 1969 as part of an inspection tour of tracking stations.

Howard was one a member of the Langley Instrument Research Division until he transferred, as a senior engineer, to the Space Task Group in early 1959. This was shortly after the name Mercury was adopted for the Man-in-Space Program. At the STG, he was the interface between the Flight Control Branch and the Tracking System Study Group.

At STG, Kyle worked on the early design of the remote tracking stations and also the Mercury Control Center at the Cape. He was closely involved with the early Mercury Redstone flights, and sat in for Christopher Kraft as Cape Flight and Capcom in simulations and early unmanned flights. (Sources include The Birth of NASA, Manfried “Dutch” von Ehrenfried, Springer, 2016.)

During Apollo, he was stationed in one of the Staff Support Rooms in Building 30 (which housed Mission Control) at Houston, supporting the Manned Space Flight Network.

Howard’s son, Frank, has kindly shared these notes from his father’s notebook of the trip, as well as the photo above:

Excerpt from Howard Kyle trip report; April 16 – May 4, 1969:

Friday, April 25

Arrived in Canberra between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm, and were met by Bob Leslie. He took us to the Embassy Motel in the Deakin district of Canberra.

Saturday, April 26

Saturday was spent briefing at HSK and discussions at the wing site (Tidbinbilla). I was tremendously impressed by the quality of the technical people here, and their eagerness. Tom Reid is the station director. He has two deputies (both of whom have visited ISD), Mike Dinn and Ian Grant. All three take turns manning the M&O supervisors consoles. The Honeysuckle Creek site is in by far the most beautiful location. In the mountains, the foothills of the Australian Alps, with green vegetation. Hard to take. Tidbinbilla is also very pleasant.

These people are very conscientious and intense in their efforts. I stayed Saturday afternoon until almost 6 o’clock, and even then the people left only when I was told I had to go get ready for a dinner party to be given in our honor at the Hotel Canberra. This was attended by some highups in the Australian telephone company (STC?), by Lloyd Bott, Willson Hunter, Lewis Wainwright, and quite a few others. Very pleasant.

Sunday, April 27

Sunday morning I spent sight seeing in Canberra. It is one of the most modern, clean, and beautiful cities I have ever seen. This part at least of Australia is tremendous. We ate a delicious lunch (charcoal broiled steaks, lamb chops, and sausages) with Bob and Elspeth Leslie. Very nice, and nice people. We drove up to the top of Red Hill lookout, took some pictures of the city, and ran into Lloyd Bott and his wife. They insisted we stop by their house, which we did, then went on to Tom Reid’s for dinner. Delightful.

Monday, April 28

Monday I went to the site with Tom Reid. He collected his comm people and we spent until about 3:00 pm discussing problems. I think I answered all of their questions. It is very stimulating to deal with these people.

We made a mad dash (with a DOS driver) to the airport via the Tidbinbilla Fauna and Animal Reserve. Never did see a kangaroo, or koala bear, just one little wombat. Not worth the wild ride. Departed Canberra rather reluctantly at 5:20 pm on Ansett ANA Electra for Sydney.


Unidentified – August 1967


Station Director Don Gray with an unidentified visitor at Honeysuckle in August 1977.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.


Station Director Don Gray (right) and Laurie Turner (left) chat with an unidentified visitor at the Honeysuckle DSN Ops Console in August 1977. John Saxon is visible behind Don Gray.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.



Jim Irwin – 09 November 1972


Station Director Don Gray with Apollo 15 LMP Jim Irwin on 9th November 1972 – just before Apollo 17.

Here he is presented with a framed photo of the Honeysuckle antenna taken by Hamish Lindsay during Apollo 15.

Visitors book entry.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.


Hamish Lindsay took the photo of sunrise behind the dish from the roof of the Ops Building during Apollo 15.

The antenna is pointed at the Coll. Tower. The passive repeater link to Tidbinbilla is just visible on the right hand side of Deadman’s Hill – at left.


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