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American Honour For Australian Space Tracking Stations

The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla near Canberra - a part of NASA's Deep Space Network. Image credit - CSIRO
by Staff Writers
Tidbinbilla, Australia (SPX) May 25, 2010
The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) at Tidbinbilla and former tracking stations, Honeysuckle Creek and Orroral Valley, near Canberra, will be honoured tomorrow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as sites of Historic Aerospace Significance.

Managed by CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), the CDSCC will host a plaque-unveiling ceremony at Tidbinbilla at 11am tomorrow - Tuesday, 25 May, 2010.

The three ACT tracking stations are being recognised as part of the AIAA's global register of Historic Aerospace Sites which includes other important sites such as; the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA; Kitty Hawk, N.C.; and Tranquility Base on the Moon.

The former launch facility at Woomera, South Australia, is the only other AIAA Historic Aerospace Site in Australia.

This award recognises the significant role these three Australian tracking stations have played throughout the last 50 years, and the hundreds of men and women who have worked at each site in support of NASA's manned and robotic space missions.

This recognition comes during the 50th anniversary of treaty-level cooperation between Australia and the US in space exploration.

"CSIRO is honoured to accept this designation on behalf of the dedicated alumni of the Honeysuckle Creek, Orroral Valley and Canberra Deep Space tracking stations," said CDSCC Director Dr Miriam Baltuck.

"Australia's role in the exploration of space has been 'mission critical' for over half a century, and we look forward with pleasure to continuing in that role in the decades to come."

US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich will be attending the ceremony and AIAA President David Thompson (founder and CEO of Orbital Sciences Corporation) will formally designate the three ACT sites.

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