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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., 2014-10-20
E.g., 2014-10-20

  • Monday 20 October, 2014

A man and woman standing in front of a picture of a volcano.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

All the facts you need to understand the mechanics of natural disasters. We look at volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones and tsunami.

,
Gallery 5
All Ages
A close up of a spider's head.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Questacon's armchair arachnologist talks about Australia’s beautiful spiders.

,
Gallery 5
All Ages

  • Tuesday 21 October, 2014

A man pulling on a wooden pole that has a series of ropes and pulleys attached.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Levers, pulleys, jets and wheels. Find out how you can —  Move It!

, ,
Gallery 5
All Ages
A woman with a stick insect sitting on her forehead.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Questacon's armchair entomologist talks about insects, the masters of the earth.

,
Gallery 5
All Ages

  • Wednesday 22 October, 2014

A man pulling on a wooden pole that has a series of ropes and pulleys attached.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Levers, pulleys, jets and wheels. Find out how you can —  Move It!

, ,
Gallery 5
All Ages
A man point into the air, with a large screen of dinosaurs behind him.
Location: Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Parkes, Canberra

Answer the call of the wild and compete in the ultimate game of survival.

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Gallery 5
All Ages