About the Author: David Atkinson serves as Economic Officer at U.S. Embassy Canberra.
Chargé d’Affaires Daniel Clune joined Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr, CSIRO CEO Megan Clark, and Senator Annette Hurley at a ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20. In addition to celebrating the first moon landing and the role Australian tracking stations played in that mission, the event also marked the retirement of DSS-46 -- “The Dish” (famous from the film of the same name) -- used to take in the first video and audio from Tranquility Base. The dish had initially been installed at the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station and then later moved to the Canberra Deep Space Communications Center.
The Chargé thanked those Australian technicians who had worked on Apollo and other space programs since, and read a letter from Neil Armstrong to the Honeysuckle Creek and Canberra crews who supported Apollo 11 on its historic flight. The Chargé was also interviewed by Channel 7 news, and had the chance to again to highlight the important role Australians played in the Apollo program, thank them for their efforts, and mention U.S. plans to return to the moon.