It shows a clipping from The Canberra Times front page, "With thanks to Mike Dinn. Scan: Colin Mackellar."
Question: Several people spoke to the Apollo 8 astronauts from NASA ground control. But how many people spoke to them from outside the US?
Australia’s Voice, English Accent
Mr. M. J. Dinn, a 35-year-old Englishman, became yesterday afternoon the first man working at an Australian space station to speak to the crew of Apollo-8.
On an instruction from Flight Command, Houston, Mr. Dinn, who is the assistant director at Honeysuckle Creek, told the astronauts that a “minor fault” had developed in a voice-controlled relay at the station.
This meant, Mr. Dinn said last night, that if the crew had wanted to talk to Houston the ground-station would not have been able to transmit an immediate reply. His job was to tell them of this situation.
The fault was eradicated by switching to another relay.
About 40 technicians at the Honeysuckle Creek-Tidbinbilla complex began tracking the flight about 10:30am yesterday.
They worked for 12 hours, with the Carnarvon, WA, station in support at various times.
The Canberra Times’ front page also reported Mike Dinn’s brief conversation with the Apollo 8 astronauts when there was a comms problem between Houston and Honeysuckle.
Doubtless Bernard Scrivener, the station’s admin and public relations officer – or Don Witten, visiting PAO from Goddard – would have alerted the newspaper to this local story.
The exchange starts at 3:15 on this (750kb mp3) excerpt.
Only Houston and the downlink are heard on this recording made at Honeysuckle, Sadly, Mike’s uplink was not.
Scan and notes: Colin Mackellar.
John Saxon (background) and Mike Dinn at the Ops Console, December 1968 (from the calendar), and almost certainly during Apollo 8. Photo: Ron Hicks.