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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., 2014-08-22
E.g., 2014-08-22

  • Thursday 21 August, 2014

a close up picture of a crystal
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

How do snowflakes form? Can you grow a jet engine? Crystals and the world around us.

,
Japan Theatre
8+
A woman standing in front of a picture of three astronauts.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

How on Earth do you get to the Moon? The breathtaking science and technology of the space race.

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
A headshot of a middle aged man.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Dr Paul Willis will take you to the frozen continent and recreate two epic voyages of scientific discovery.

Japan Theatre
18+

  • Monday 18 August 2014
  • Tuesday 19 August 2014
  • Wednesday 20 August 2014
  • Thursday 21 August 2014
  • Friday 22 August 2014

A close up of a laptop keyboard.
Location: Questacon Technology Learning Centre
Deakin, Canberra

Kids will learn how to create fun games and puzzles using easy to program coding tools. Ages 6-12.

Various times or dates
Maker Space
6-12

  • Wednesday 20 August 2014
  • Thursday 21 August 2014

A large yellow, red and black truck in front of crowd of people in a large open building.
Location: Camden Civic Centre
Camden

Visiting Camden, the Shell Questacon Science Circus is a great opportunity for parents and children to share, discover and explore science together.

Various times or dates
All ages

  • Friday 22 August, 2014

A man wearing safety glasses standing beside a cloud of gas.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

A fun and explosive show based upon the science of the amazing substance known as Liquid Nitrogen, one of the coldest substances known.

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
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
The head of a large polar bear.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

It’s a veritable feast of teeth, talons, tonsils and terror. Find out about the largest and meanest predators of yesterday and today.

Japan Theatre
All Ages

  • Friday 22 August 2014
  • Saturday 23 August 2014

a man is holding a funnel in one hand and igniiting it with a burner in the other hand. a large flame comes out of the funnel to create a huge fire ball above his head.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

A 30-minute extravaganza of rocking tunes and explosive science.

Various times or dates
Japan Theatre
All Ages

  • Saturday 23 August 2014
  • Sunday 24 August 2014

A large yellow, red and black truck in front of crowd of people in a large open building.
Location: Parramatta Campus
Rydalmere

Visiting Rydalmere, the Shell Questacon Science Circus is a great opportunity for parents and children to share, discover and explore science together.

Various times or dates
All ages

  • Saturday 23 August, 2014

An astronaut in space.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Our universe is incredible—but just how do we explore it?

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages
A woman in overalls, wearing a safely crash cap and holding a plush toy cow.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Discover the science behind crashes and collisions. Sir Isaac Newton wouldn't know what hit him!

,
Japan Theatre
All Ages