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How Australia played an integral role in the Moon landing

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It was nearly 50 years ago that people all over the world tuned in to witness Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the Moon.

But did you know Australia played an integral role in broadcasting that famous footage?

It was the telescope in the town of Parkes in the Central West region of NSW that was responsible for receiving the images and sending them out to the six hundred million people watching.

Historian and Operations Scientist at CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope John Sarkissian tells Chris Smith NASA specifically asked the CSIRO to receive the footage.

“On that first lunar landing they were a little unsure as to how well the antennas on the earth would be receiving the weak signals coming from the lunar module, so they wanted the world’s most advanced, most sensitive radio antennas tracking the moon at that critical moment.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the town of Parkes is inviting visitors to come and tour the telescope that played such an important part in history.

The mayor of Parkes Shire, Ken Keith, says the whole weekend of July 20 to 21 will be transformed into a moon landing festival, with ‘The Dish’ as the star of the show.

“The highlight event is really the open two days at the Parkes Radio Telescope and the opportunity for people to go out and actually go through the building that brought those classic images back to earth.”

Click PLAY below to hear about the festival

For more information about the Parkes moon landing festival CLICK HERE