Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum celebrates the role Carnarvon played in the manned space program and in the Australian satellite communications industry. 

In 1966, the Casshorn antenna, locally known as the ‘Sugar Scoop’, was used for the first television broadcast from Australia to the BBC in London. The program was called “Down Under Comes Up Live”. 

On 21 July 1969, the day of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Casshorn antenna played an important part. The antenna, which stands beside the OTC Dish, relayed the video of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. It transmitted the pictures from NASA’s Honey Suckle Creek Tracking Station to Perth’s TV audience via Moree earth station. This was the first live telecast into Western Australia. And later in 1969, the larger 29.6 metre wide steerable antenna was built to facilitate better communication between the NASA Tracking Station and the USA. 

The Carnarvon Tracking Station (no longer standing) was 10 kilometres south from Carnarvon. The station was built to support NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs. Commissioned in 1964, it operated for 11 years. It was the last station to communicate with the space capsules leaving the earth’s orbit. And it was the last to have contact before its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

At the height of the operation it had a staff of 220 people. The friendly local volunteers at the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum will share stories of how this site was instrumental in the space race. You might even choose to try on a space suit and climb aboard a spacecraft simulator.