Goddard Range and Range Rate

Back to Station Equipment

Larrakeyah Point
Larrakeyah Point

A small GRARR team from Carnarvon operated a mobile station at Larrakeyah Point, Darwin (-12° 17′, 130° 49′). for a single mission on 7 June 1966 to insert OGO-3 into a very eccentric 295Km by 122,219Km orbit- then the largest ever experimental complement ever placed in orbit.

The team consisted of John Mahaffey, Michael Billings, Ron Sargeant, and Bill Boyle as technicians; John Stanton operating the power generators; with Barb King on communications.

The equipment consisted of a standard GRARR system supported by a VHF Yagi command antenna and a 3.2m S-band dish tracking antenna. After the OGO mission, a small team from the Cooby Creek Station, Toowoomba, QLD, continued occasional Darwin activity to support the Appllication Technology Satellite (ATS) program until 1968.

Barb King remembers how tough life was “… near the lighthouse on Larrakeyah Point … the view of the entrance harbour was superb, the water was so clear that from the cliff top you could see the fish swim by. … We were housed at a motel just around the corner from the Parap Pub and the local fish and chip shop, and to top it all off we were paid ‘hardship money’.”

Meanwhile, on 1 July, the rest of the GRARR team in Carnarvon were commanding the trans-lunar insertion of IMP-D towards its injection into orbit around the Moon.

Personal tools