Following an adventurous start to the nine day road trip, which included traveling an additional three hundred kilometers and blowing out a tyre, my crew and I worked efficiently and productively to film over six hours of footage for the next three installments of Australia’s FIRST regular science fiction podcast.
Our first stop was Ironfest ’16, the most entertaining festival I’ve ever been to. Starting out at the beginning of the century as a get together of medieval enthusiasts, it’s grown to feature everyone through the ages – including some Starfleet officers! Cosplay, World War Two reenactments and more were all on show over the two day event. We got some great pictures, and it’ll be great to show them to you soon!
Next up, we continued south on the highway and ended up in the nations capital Canberra. It turns out scientists at the Australian National University are leading the way with some pretty awesome research… including partical acceleration in a mass spectrometer to detect remnants of supernovae here on Earth, plus they’re also tasking fifty percent of the Kepler Space Telescope – meaning that half of it’s operations are controlled by Australians.
We also headed out to a little known place called Tidbinbilla which, for the past fifty years, has been home to one of three NASA deep space communication complexes. Along with sister stations in Spain and California, Tidbinbilla allows mission control to maintain contact with all spacecraft in the solar system.
Back in the Apollo days, Tidbinbilla was one of three sites across Australia providing telemetry when the northern hemisphere was out of sight for the astronauts. In fact, the dish at Honey Suckle Creek was the prime receiver for Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
Australia plays a huge support role in space exploration, something all Aussies should be extremely proud of and I can’t wait to bring you the three weeks on the road.