On Eagles Wings: The Story of the Parkes Apollo 11 Support

From 8 minutes and 51 seconds after the TV was switched on (and some 6 minutes and 42 seconds after the first step), the world witnessed the historic 2 1/2 hour Apollo 11 moonwalk from pictures received by the Parkes Radio Telescope.

Following the mission the NASA Administrator, Thomas O. Paine, sent the following message of commendation to the Australian Minister for Education and Science, Mr Malcolm Fraser:

Before the mission, John Bolton had agreed to a one-line contract with NASA: 'The Radiophysics Division would agree to support the Apollo 11 mission'. In meeting his commitment to NASA, both he and the staff of the observatory displayed great nerve and courage in their decisions and ensured that mankind was able to witness the historic event with the greatest possible clarity.

For five magnificent days in July 1969, the Parkes Observatory contributed to the success of the greatest voyage of discovery and achievement in the history of science. As it tracked Apollo 11 on its journey to the Moon it was, in a sense, carried along on Eagle's wings.


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