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Derived from a Technical Information Bulletin (TIB) dated November 15, 1967

Outside the U.S., Australia had the largest number of NASA space tracking and communications stations in the world. The first was built at Island Lagoon, about 14 miles from Woomera. Major assignments for the station were concerned with deep-space probes.

Carnarvon, in Western Australia, was opened as a part of the Manned Space Flight Network in June, 1964. Since that time, stations were opened at Tidbinbilla, Australian Capital Territory in March 1965; at Orroral Valley, Australian Capital Territory in February 1966; at Cooby Creek, near Toowoomba, Queensland in October 1966; and at Honeysuckle Creek, Australian Capital Territory in March 1967.

Two stations were operated in Australia for Project Mercury at Muchea, near Perth; and at Red Lake, Woomera. After Mercury, the Muchea station was discontinued and Carnarvon was built to support the Gemini Program.

The first tracking assignment for Carnarvon was in January, 1964, before the station was formally opened, when Ranger VI was plotted during the early part of its flight to the moon.

Carnarvon supported throughout the Gemini program and early Apollo missions. It played an important role in the Apollo-Saturn 501 mission.

Facilities situated within the Carnarvon configuration were the FPQ-6 radar, Goddard Range & Range Rate equipment, command and voice communications and a SPAN installation.

Below derived from the June 5, 1969 Technical Information Bulletin

Honeysuckle Creek was formally dedicated on March 17, 1967 as one of three 85 foot USB antenna stations in the MSFN. The prime station and its wing site, DSN 42 at Tidbinbilla had supported Apollo missions since 1967.

The Honeysuckle Creek MSFN Station was located in the Australian Capital Territory about 25 miles from the Australian capital city of Canberra.

For more information on todays Australian space program and history, check the
Canberra WEB SITE.

Late Note From Ian Bruce Fraser. The Orroral Valley site was officially opened on 24 February 1966, closed in 1985 and bulldozed in 1992. Apart from a few brass plaques there is little left except in the memories of the participants. I think even the plaques have been vandalized. Honeysuckle Creek suffered a similar fate. Ian was involved in the industry at the Orroral site from January 1967 to December 1983.

A commemorative CD containing over 1250 images of the Orroral Valley Tracking Station is available through Philip Clark at his email address HERE--> philipgc@iprimus.com.au

April 2, 2014 - Philip Clark has recently completed a book about the Orroral Tracking Station and wanted to convey that to all the BFEC folks and other tracking station personal. The name of the book is "Acquisition - The Story of Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station" and the recommended price is AUD$59.95 but Philip will give a 10% discount to anyone in or who was in the spacetracking fraternity. There is not a website for the book, but you can contact Philip Clark at philipgc@iprimus.com.au

We invite any additions and (or) corrections to this information.