City of Light - 50 years in space

Digital Services Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 11:27

Mercury/Atlas rocket on the launchpad. Image courtesy of NASA.I’ve been interested in space flight since I was a child. Born in an era of moon landings, Star Trek, and I Dream of Jeannie, NASA and the men and women who travel into space have always been bright on my radar of interests, even recently when I watched the last two shuttle launches live on my computer via NASA’s video stream.

After thoroughly enjoying the book Carnarvon and Apollo (which garnered a special commendation in our Margaret Medcalf award) I became intrigued with the story of the “trackers” who worked in Muchea and Carnarvon on the early NASA missions, effectively beginning Western Australia’s long involvement in space exploration.

Colin Mackellar, who runs a website documenting Australia’s history in space exploration kindly alerted me in November to the upcoming 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic flight, and the race was on – could we come up with a great event to commemorate this occasion in such a short time frame?

By the next morning we had our answer – NASA and ARISS were excited to work with us to bring the current residents of the International Space Station live to Perth.

So now it’s over to you. We’re running a competition across Western Australia to give some lucky young people the opportunity to ask questions of the astronauts and cosmonauts currently onboard the International Space Station. The winners will get to ask their question in a live linkup from the Northbridge Piazza on the evening of 20th February 2012.

We are indebted to Tony (VK5ZAI) of ARISS and the many international space agencies that run the ISS for making this event even possible, and also our partners in bringing it to fruition – the Western Australian Museum, the City of Perth, and the Hills Amateur Radio Group.

Join the action - put in your entry online now!

Meg Travers
Digital Archive Support Manager