It is quite well-publicized that the TV broadcast of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon were received by the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in Australia, because that was the side of the Earth facing the moon at the time. We even have a question about it.

After Apollo 11, were the first steps of the remaining lunar landings also covered by an Australian ground station? Either Honeysuckle Creek or Tidbinbilla would count.

(I suspect that due to which sides of the Earth and Moon were lit by the Sun, the answer is "yes" for all.)

  • $\begingroup$ I think you can ask a question to a former employee of TV station. facebook.com/robertbrandspace "This video of our HF radio station in Australia (Sydney) in “critical coverage” during the Apollo 11 flight and moon walk. The ARIA aircraft were critical to the mission. Seems so ancient today" $\endgroup$
    – A. Rumlin
    Jul 18, 2019 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ Re: Apollo 11, this news item states that the dish at Goldstone also received the images from Apollo 11, but due to human error & an upside down picture coverage was switched to Honeysuckle Creek. Honeysuckle Creek provided the first 8' 50" of the coverage, which included Armstrong stepping onto the Moon. The remainder of the coverage was provided by the Parkes radio telescope. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jul 18, 2019 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


Most probably no. I couldn't find any list of stations on duty, but it can easily be "proven" that it wasn't possible.

On one hand, all landings happened shortly after local sunrise, and all within a 54° range (between the 23W of Apollo 12 and 30E of Apollo 17) List of Apollo landing sites. As the moon is tidally locked to the earth, those 54° correspond to the same movement along the moon orbit (give it 60° to be on the safe side) which correspond to about 4 hours of earth local time for the moon to be in the same position in the sky.

On the other side, the three earth stations (US/Spain/Aus) are about 120° apart, which mean that they take turns roughly every 8 hours as the earth rotates under the moon. So for the same station to be on duty for all first walks, all of them would have had to happen on a 4h window (8h on duty - 4h variance of landings).

If you look at the list of moonwalks, you see that they happended all around the clock (earth time), making it impossible to match all of them with the same station on duty.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.