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Apollo 11—Canberra’s Vital Role

At 12.56 pm AEST on 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. A feat watched live by 500 million people and billions since.

What most people don’t know is that the initial television signal originated out of a small building on the outskirts of Canberra, the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station.

To celebrate the Centenary of Canberra, Questacon is dedicating two days to tell the story of the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, the Apollo 11 mission and NASA’s ongoing involvement in Canberra.

Meet the people who worked on the Apollo missions, hear their stories and ask them questions about life in Canberra during the 1960s.

A wide range of memorabilia from NASA and private collections will be on display in the Questacon foyer, including a live seismogram reproduction of the seismic traces recorded as the astronauts walked on the moon.

There will be documentary and movies screenings including a special presentation of “The Dish” with an introduction by the Honeysuckle Creek team and a screening of the film “One Small Step: The Australian Story”.

All activities in the Questacon Foyer and Japan Theatre are presented free of charge. Access to Questacon galleries and other activities are at normal admission prices.

Suitable for secondary school age and above.
Admission fees apply, Q Club members free

Saturday Events

The Wonder of It All (Film)

9.30–11 am, Japan Theatre
15 years +
Take a look at the fascinating life of an astronaut. The film interviews Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean and Edgar Mitchell and more to discuss their training, camaraderie and the effect their jobs had on their families.

The Apollo missions explained (Presentation)

11 am–12 pm, Japan Theatre
12 years +
Mike Dinn former Deputy Station Director at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, will discuss the build-up to the Apollo missions and the major events of Apollo 11.

Live From the Moon (Film)

12–1.30 pm, Japan Theatre
12 years +
Discover the inspiration, innovation and technology that enabled the world to view live images from the moon on television.

Why did it happen in the ACT? (Presentation)

2-3 pm, Japan Theatre
15 years +
Why was the ACT home to NASA tracking stations? What happened when Neil Armstrong took his one small step? John Saxon, former Operations Supervisor at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, will answer these questions and more in this presentation.

The Dish (Film)

3–4.40 pm, Japan Theatre
Rated M
The staff from Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station will introduce this popular Australian film and explain the true facts behind this fictionalised account of the Apollo 11 television broadcast.

Moon Landing (Science Show)

11–11:30 am, Gallery 5
1–1.30 pm, Gallery 5
All ages
Questacon’s Excited Particles present a family-friendly history of the space race leading up to the first moon landing in 1969 and the future of space travel.

Guide to the Galaxy (Science Show)

12–12.30 pm, Gallery 5
2–2.30 pm, Gallery 5
All ages
Questacon’s Excited Particles will introduce you to the features of our solar system and some interesting facts about different planets in this family-friendly science show.

View activities on Sunday.

Download a program in the following two formats:

WHEN AND WHERE

Parkes
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre

King Edward Terrace
Canberra
Australian Capital Territory

All ages

Find another event

E.g., 2014-09-02
E.g., 2014-09-02

  • Tuesday 2 September, 2014

A woman with glasses making a funny face.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

All you’ve ever wanted to know about dinosaurs. New theories, old myths debunked, exciting new fossils uncovered.

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
A deep sea diver standing next to a large angler fish with large sharp fish.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Science under pressure. The ecology and exploration of our planet’s oceans.

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages

  • Wednesday 3 September, 2014

A woman with glasses making a funny face.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

All you’ve ever wanted to know about dinosaurs. New theories, old myths debunked, exciting new fossils uncovered.

, ,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
A woman looking up and smiling.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Join us for a graphic look at the science of mummification. This is not one for the squeamish.

Japan Theatre
8+
A snail moving across a leaf.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

What’s eating you. The inside story on the world of parasites.

Japan Theatre
All Ages
A man and a woman both dressed in roadie gear and each holding a rolled up extension lead, and the man an additional microphone.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Join the Questacon Roadie for a musical experience like never before.  Rock on science!

Japan Theatre
All Ages
A woman wears a costume made out of car parts that includes huge sparkly wings
Location: Questacon Technology Learning Centre
Deakin, Canberra

Torque: Alison Bogg, Costume Maker and Technical Designer, on the ergonomics and fabrication of large scale costumes.

Maker Space
12+

  • Thursday 4 September, 2014

A picture of a man's head.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Dr Blashtov will attempt to launch 10 rockets in 30 minutes. The Excited Particles take no responsibility for the accidental launch of children during this show.

, ,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
A man with a surprised look on his face, and his hair standing up on end.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Join us for an in-depth look at Nikola Tesla, the electrical genius who invented the 20th Century.

Japan Theatre
8+