From 1964 – 1975 Carnarvon hosted a NASA tracking station 10 km south of town that played an important role in communications and telemetry relay for NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions.
The Western Australian coast is almost at the antipode from the launch site at Cape Canaveral in Florida. This made it ideal to track and establish the spacecraft’s orbit. The station was also the last contact point for astronauts before they re-entered the atmosphere to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Two of the original Mercury 7 astronauts visited the station in the 1960s, and astronauts continue to visit Carnarvon today.
In 1966 the OTC Tracking Station was also built to support the Apollo missions to the Moon. The OTC station was closer to town and had a large horn shaped antenna when it opened. The 29.8 metre parabolic dish antenna was added in 1969. The station was decommissioned in 1987 and Space and Technology Museum opened on the site in 2012.
The Museum has artefacts, hands-on exhibits, a theatre and a gift shop, as well as a full scale replica Mercury-Redstone rocket!
Open every day (except 25 December, 1 January and Good Friday). Opening hours are 9 am – 4 pm from April to September; 10 am – 2 pm from October to March .
Admission fees apply.