The functions were held on the 21st and 22nd July. The first was a lunch function 'On the day - on the hour'. Click to see the invitation and other details such as the final list of attendees. Judging by the very nice thank you emails and notes that we received - it was deemed to be a success. Despite being somewhat chaotic - we should have anticipated that most of the attendees just wanted to talk and catch up! You can check out over 200 pictures of the lunch and the second day at my Webshots photo storage area.
At the lunch we launched Bryan Sullivan's & Jackie French's excellent new children's book "To the Moon and back". The book is for 10-14 year olds and is intended to inspire them to take up careers in science.
We also launched (and played in synchronism with the time it all happened 35 years ago) the great DVD produced by Colin Mackellar who has managed to synchronise the TV, Astronaut voice, the Houston/Ground station coordination voice loop, and the HSK internal main operations voice loop for the first time. The DVD also contains many other pictures and video of the early days at 'the creek'. Read all about it (and how to get your copy) by clicking here. Mike Dinn has posted stills from the DVD .
If you clicked on the link to the DVD - you probably noticed that this was only one page of many on the Honeysuckle Web site which was also created by Colin and is now the ' Official HSK web site '. I intend to keep my pages going here but will increasingly focus on the people, the contact list and various reunions.
We received some superb messages from many of the Apollo Astronauts and from other groups of people who were heavily involved in supporting the missions. In particular from the Houston Instrumentation Support team "Old timers" group (IST-OT) who also sent a greetings DVD! Tom Sheehan coordinated the DVD & some of the Greetings, and his message is the first on the list. We should also mention several other people who asked their Astronaut friends to send us greetings. Jayme Coplin of the Houston Astronaut office, Dr. Eric Jones the Editor of the superb Apollo Lunar Surface Journal , and also Dr Ron Wells of the University of California at Berkeley. Also during the lunch we had a voice conference with another reunion of Houston flight controllers, ably coordinated by Maureen Bowen and John McKenna who are still working at Houston.
On the 22nd many of us visited the old HSK site (as you can see from the photo, there was still some snow there). The photo is of Betty and I with Frances & Bill Wood who travelled all the way from blisteringly hot Barstow California to be with us for the reunion - I guess they would have been feeling the cold! The photo and others by Bill Wood (& Hamish Lindsay) can also be found on my Webshots storage area. After visiting the creek, we drove to Tidbinbilla CDSCC where after the obligatory photo in front of the relocated HSK antenna, we were entertained to a great lunch by the Director Peter Churchill, Glen Nagle the PR king plus other luminaries. The canteen staff even made a great cake for us, and Peter & Glen gave us a lot of background on current and future deep space missions at CDSCC.
Finally - the events generated a fair amount of publicity both locally and internationally - Mike Dinn put it all together at a web site which has since disappeared - we are currently resurrecting it!
Altogether it was a busy couple of days and it was great to catch up with some of our old friends from the Honeysuckle and Tidbinbilla days. After a few more months I may even contemplate what we should do for the 40th Anniversary!
John Saxon 21 April 2008