Apollo Heritage Interview

Hangout-Ad006Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Hangout – Apollo Heritage and the GLXP.

by Robert Brand

Well the Apollo Heritage event is over and I had a lot of fun with the interview or should I say “armchair chat”. It was a very comfortable discussion. I am excited to tell you that there is a video of the event. It was recorded and the link is below. I must say that I am very taken with Dr. Pamela L. Gay (the host) and her interview style. I was never left with a feeling of “what will happen next”. Continue reading

Apollo 11 45th Interview

Hangout 006 GLXP Apollo 11 45thRobert Brand is a Special Guest for Apollo 11 GLXP Hangout

Not much to say, but to follow the link below and be part of the Apollo 11 special event for the Google Lunar X Prize Team Hangout.

I will be discussing my experiences wiring up the Apollo 11 gear in Sydney – not that this was an amazing event, but since I am part of a group building a mission to go to the moon with a Rover, it appears that I am about the only person in the GLXP with a connection to the Apollo 11 event. Continue reading

Apollo 11, 45th Anniversary Memories

Photo by Richard Holl (L-R) Ted Knotts, Dick Holl and Elmer Fredd standing in front of the Parkes Scanconverter at OTC Paddington following the mission.

Photo by Richard Holl (L-R) Ted Knotts, Dick Holl and Elmer Fredd standing in front of the Parkes Scanconverter at OTC Paddington following the mission

An Explosion in the Scan-converter.

by Robert Brand

A few weeks before the launch of Apollo 11, the scan-converter at OTC Paddington in Sydney exploded when it was switched on by NASA‘s Richard Holl following a test. The explosion occurred because the scan-converter was wrongly rewired one evening. Continue reading

Personal Spacecraft in Orbit

kicksatKickSat Mothership Achieves Orbit.

by Robert Brand

Remember the small prototype of a KickSat (photo right)? I wrote about it in an earlier post. In mid April, 2014 it was tucked inside its mothership and that was inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that blasted into orbit with the ISS resupply cargo module.

Wikipedia says:This was the SpaceX CRS-3, a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, contracted to NASA, which was launched on 18 April 2014. It was the 5th flight for SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft and the third SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under a Commercial Resupply Services contract.” Continue reading

Andy’s Pico Balloon Update

Andy Balloon altitude over AustraliaPico Balloon Departs Australia

by Robert Brand

Andy Nguyen’s Pico Balloon Update: It has now passed over the bottom of Fraser Island in SE Queensland late today and out to sea.

Pico simply means very small balloon and payload.

Andy is hoping that the next stop may be South America in a week’s time. We do not expect to hear from the balloon until then, but it may pass over New Zealand or Tonga. Continue reading

Andy Nguyen sends a Balloon Towards South America

Balloon Headed North

This post was from Yesterday and shows the progress of his balloon. Andy’s Pico Flight progress has been as predicted. It is heading very much north from Melbourne in an unusual jet stream current. It is averaging about 8,000m (8Km – 5 miles) altitude and headed north at an average speed of 80kph (50mph). It recently passed over where Jason and I (Robert Brand) launch our balloons. It was a little west of Rankin Springs! Continue reading

Andy from Melbourne Launches High Altitude Balloon

High Altitude Balloon Success. Payload Recovered from almost 37km Altitude.Andy PS1 Preparing to fly

Jason and I went to Deniliquin NSW (Australia) to help a good friend, Andy from exOTC Melbourne, launch and recover a high altitude balloon and payload. My son, Jason (11), and I have launched and recovered 16 of our own payloads to date and assisted with many others and we love High Altitude Balloons (HABs) so giving Andy a hand was a real pleasure.

If you were working for OTC in Melbourne in the early 1990s, you will know Andy. He does not want his last name mentioned online. Continue reading

What are Others Up To?

Robert brand 2013Tell us What You are Doing.

Can other people write up what they are doing in their lives such as farming, sailing, whatever it is we need to know what you are up to and that includes taking it easy. I know that there are some great stories out there even about doing nothing or getting together for the odd drink with an old ex-otc mate and yes we are all getting older!

  • Richard ‘Richary’ Jary When I eventually left Telstra I added my radio hobby to the IT stuff I had been working on and got into wireless LANs and microwave radio. Now my job involves planning links, troubleshooting and getting on rooftops and towers Continue reading

A Visit to Honeysuckle Creek

hsk_1971_tnMy Return to Honeysuckle Creek

It had been 42 years since I visited Honeysuckle Creek. I was still a teenager at the time – 19 years old. I had just been working on comms for Apollo missions and had completed a lot of work wiring up comms for Apollo 11 gear at OTC Paddington. I had been on a pilgrimage to know ground zero zero for the reception of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon – Honeysuckle Creek. Continue reading

Personal Update – Robert Brand

Robert Brand ParkesPersonal Update

By Robert Brand

Sorry for the lack of posts – it has been 5 months, but life has gone to being extremely ridiculous workload-wise.

The OTVA has their Autumn Social event on Friday 5th April at the Bowlers Club located at 95-97 York St Sydney.  RVSP to Peter Bull so that he can submit the numbers to the Functions Coordinator prior to the day. Respond early to avoid disappointment. Continue reading

Tram Outing this Wednesday

Bill Jolly will be Our Driver

Wednesday is our big Tram Museum outing. The outing is broadly in 3 parts.

  • 1st  is the tram ride out to the Royal National Park where we can get out & go to a lookout,
  • 2nd the guided tour where the prison van that Darcy Dugan escaped from is on display & is a highlight of the museum.
  • Then finally the lunch at the Sutherland club. Billy Jolly (ex OTC Eng Branch) is our tram driver & he guarantees us all a good time. Continue reading

New Author: Walter Pearce

Walter Pearce to assist me at exOTC.org

Walter kindly sent this offer of help and I will be taking it up immediately on recommendation from Neil Yakalis.

I am ex OTC and have been visiting your website. I previously worked for Maritime (MS & RS) at Auburn with Neil Yakalis before I retired in 2001.

I would like to submit a story with a few photos and comment on posts
etc. Can you grant me publishing access at your convenience. Continue reading

Jack Creswick

Who Has a Story about Jack?

Neil Yakalis Asks:

Many of us remember Jack Creswick. He was the OTC Training School in its original form long before Paddo got its formal training setup. I would love to hear some of the stories about Jack as he was a unique character.

  • Jack always liked to do things differently and he worked out that he could bypass a lot of traffic riding his bike to work through the storm water canals and a few drains. This worked like a treat until one day his front wheel jammed in an expansion joint in the concrete catapulting jack over the handlebars and onto a mess in the storm water drain! I’m not sure whether Jack continued the drain shortcuts and just took more care, but it was one hell of a scare for him! Sydney water never really structured their drains for bikes. Continue reading