Press Release #3

August 2018

Update on Australia’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar landing

For those who don’t know us – we are a group of Ex-Spacetrackers who were involved in the Apollo missions. The Apollo 11 Moon landing in July 1969 is considered by many to be the defining moment of the 20th century. World-wide celebrations of that historic achievement are being planned for July 1969 and we are determined that it and the role Australia and the Canberra stations in particular played in it, will be commemorated in a fitting style.

The 49th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission has come and gone. Although it was a low-key celebration it attracted 3 local politicians who we queried about possible funds etc! We are now counting down for the big celebration next year at what seems to be an ever-accelerating pace.

Andy Thomas
Dr Andrew Thomas AM

We are delighted to announce that Dr Andrew Thomas AO will be joining us as our Guest of Honour! Dr Thomas is our most experienced Australian-born Astronaut – he spent over 141 DAYs in space, flew on 4 shuttle missions and spent more than 4 months on the Russian MIR space station. He has generously agreed to attend all our major events over the planned 4 days of celebrations!

To date we have been concentrating on some of the bigger events being planned. These include –

  1. Both the Honeysuckle and Orroral tracking sites in the hills near Canberra are getting a spruce up. Also this year’s ACT budget allocated $391K to improve the walking tracks in the area, and after representations by us some other features that will specifically commemorate the 50th Anniversary.
  2. We are hoping that we can get ACT Government funds for a Commemorative Artwork to be erected on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. A site in the West Basin has been suggested and we are pursuing this with the relevant authorities. We have received a generous donation from the Polish White Eagle Club in Canberra and this has enabled us to commission a local artist to produce several designs for the artwork.
  3. In November 2018, Questacon is opening a new experience on Space which will feature a massive seven metre inflatable model of the moon.
  4. There are another 15 or more events and activities at various stages of planning or negotiation. These will be listed on the celebration web site which should be on-line in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

We would appreciate hearing from any group or organisation planning 50th anniversary Apollo events or other related activities. You can contact us via Email or Phone +61 (0)2 6181 4579

We would particularly like to hear from potential sponsors or others who would be prepared to contribute to the celebration of humanity’s greatest adventure, and Australia’s role in it.

Yours Sincerely

Australian Apollo11 Anniversary Committee