Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, Paddys River

4.4
#3 of 7 in Childrens Museums in Australian Capital Territory
Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is home to Deep Space Station 43, a 70 m (230 feet ) diameter dish that communicated with Voyager 1 and other Mars probes. See displays of spacecraft and space tracking technology, as well as a moon rock collected by Apollo XI in 1969. Learn all about how satellite dishes operate at this center just 20 km (12.7 mi) from Canberra. To visit Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex on your holiday in Paddys River, and find out what else Paddys River has to offer, use our Paddys River.
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Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
479 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The Deep Space Complex is an interesting place to visit, and entry is free. There is a lot of information on display in the visitors centre. The drive from Canberra to the complex offers beautiful...  more »
  • Free Entry with Great exhibits, so much to learn the movies were very interesting, unfortunately there were no staff to ask questions and the cafe was very very expensive, so avoid it and have lunch.....  more »
  • Fascinating place to visit not just for school children. Didn't realise how important we were to the 1969 landing. The scenery is quite beautiful you could take a picnic lunch there and enjoy it.  more »
Google
  • Drive from Canberra was very nice and scenic.Museum is small but lots of information to seek. Nice place for space lovers.
  • For anyone with any interest in space this is a 'must visit' place and worth the short drive out from Canberra. Very informative displays and the 4k screening of short space films were brilliant!
  • Construction of the complex began in June 1963 with operations commencing in December 1964, in time to support the Mariner 4 spacecraft encounter with Mars. The centrepiece of the complex was the 26-metre antenna (Deep Space Station 42). Two years later a crewed spaceflight wing was added to the complex to assist with the Apollo missions to the Moon. By 1970 the complex featured a power station, and facilities to manage the sewage and water supplies, while a cafeteria, and sleeping accommodation fed and housed the many workers on site. During early 1969 construction started on a new antenna. At 73 metres in height and weighing more than seven million kilograms, the then 64-metre antenna (Deep Space Station 43) took nearly four years to complete. The need for such an antenna was brought about by the increasing amounts of data received and the rapidly expanding distances that spacecraft were travelling. The new 64-metre antenna was more than six times as sensitive as the existing 26-metre antenna, and therefore could extend the useful lifetime of a spacecraft as its signal became weaker the further it was from Earth. During the 1980s the Voyager spacecraft travelled billions of kilometres to investigate the ‘gas giants’ Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Over such distances, the signals from the spacecraft would be extremely weak and requiring more sophisticated equipment on Earth to receive them. Consequently, in 1980 the 26-metre antenna was upgraded to become a 34-metre antenna, improving the surface of the dish and adding higher frequency receiving capabilities. Similarly in 1987, the 64-metre antenna was upgraded to 70 metres in diameter. Even today, the 70-metre antenna is the largest steerable parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere. When Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station closed in December 1981, the 26-metre antenna was relocated to Tidbinbilla and renamed Deep Space Station 46 where it was used for spacecraft positioned close to the Earth. It was retired in 2009. In 1986 the construction of a new high efficiency 34-metre antenna (Deep Space Station 45) was completed to provide better reception at higher frequencies. The antenna was completed in time for the Voyager 2 encounter with Uranus, where it was used in conjunction with the 70-metre antenna to provide even greater sensitivity for the reception of signals. Deep Space Station 45 was decommissioned in 2016.
  • If you are interested in space, then this place is worth a visit It's free Only negative, no nasa products to buy
  • Pretty remote place to visit. Apart from the dishes, not much to see. However drive from Canberra was scenic.
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