Hayley's blog

Just another global2.vic.edu.au site

Australia and space

September9

How my big idea relates to R.E
My big idea doesn’t really relate but if it does it’s not in a good way. We are spending to much money on space research and trying to find a new planet to live on and not enough on world poverty. This reminded me of an article I read in am workshop with miss Todd about space research vs world poverty. I strongly recommend this to anyone further interested on the subject. Another way it it relates witch I first over looked is how this brought different country’s/continents together even if they we’re different. If Australia hadn’t had the satellite dish America wouldn’t have had the pictures.

In big idea I have been looking at how Australia contributed to the first landing on the moon. I found out that without Australia we wouldn’t have any of the photos or footage of nealarms stings 2 hour walk on the moon and would neve have witnessed his famous words, “that’s one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind. It has been suggested that I watch The Dish and have not seen it yet. How ever I’ve found a review of it on the internet and it goes as follows.

Australia’s Role in the Moon Landing

As spectators looked on at one of the most highly-watched broadcasts of the 20th century, Australia rejoiced, and maybe even gloated a bit—but rightfully so. Without their help, the images of man’s first steps on the moon would have been missed altogether.

Released in Australia in 2000, the movie “The Dish” describes how the small town of Parkes, New South Wales played a major part in tracking, transmitting, and relaying pictures of the first moon walk from the Apollo 11 space mission. While America’s NASA primarily organized Apollo 11’s mission, it was discovered that a telecommunication station was needed from the Southern Hemisphere to transmit images as well. Tucked away on an farmer’s sheep paddock existed just what was needed—a 1,000 ton dish, the most powerful of its sort in the world and largest telecommunication device in the Southern Hemisphere

When President Kennedy made it a goal to walk on the moon before the decade was up, no one assumed that Australia would play any sort of role in the lunar race. However, as the movie describes, on July 19, 1969, the charming town of Parkes celebrated their accomplishment. Without them, the famous images that stir up national pride for Americans would not have existed.

In the movie, the descriptions of characters and attitudes at the time allow Australian pride to be expressed through reactions toward America as a whole. One of teenagers in the film lets her angst show as she describes America’s pursuit of the moon walk as very “typical of American imperialistic greed”. Other attitudes in the movie suggest international tension between the two countries, but a closer look at history will suggest otherwise.

“The Dish” highlights typical differences between the U.S. and Australia. The movie, which is of course only “based on a true story,” creates much of the tension and conflict described between the two countries. Many of the seemingly accurate details of political relations between the U.S. and Australia were actually added to the plot in order to “Hollywood-ise” the movie. While none of these creative licenses to the plot change the outcome, a good number of details are fictional, making it weak as far as historical accuracy goes.

For example, one of the major tensions in the plot, which is in fact fictionalized, describes how a simple oversight by a technician caused the Australian telecommunication center to temporarily lose power and thus the location of the Apollo 11 space craft as well. As a result, the men responsible cover up their mistake and lie to the U.S. for fear of disappointing NASA and misrepresenting their nation. Again, keep in mind that this twist is not true to life, but it does describe a type of fictional animosity that many might assume existed. At the same time, the writers did not go overboard in describing these sentiments. It did not seem the movie intended to be rigid in its portrayal of these historical events. Instead, it is a lighthearted look at Australia’s once again overlooked successes.

The movie has a charm about it that is carried throughout the film through small-town characters, typical Australian humor, and a love story, albeit an awkward one. Likely because it can appeal to the “Aussie Battler” mentality—describing the struggle of Australia to be appreciated and recognized globally— “The Dish” did well when released in Australia. The fact that it is also family-friendly and particularly clean for having been released in the past 10 years likely didn’t hurt its ratings either. The movie seems made for an Australian audience and demographic, with the “she’ll be right” and the “I reckon” lingo to support it.

What seems interesting after having seen the movie, is to reflect on the fact that though I have often seen the images of the moon walk and heard the story of America’s great accomplishments in the lunar race, I have never ever heard Australia given even an ounce’s worth of credit for playing their part; perhaps this again shows an under appreciation for Australia. Nonetheless, without these images, the U.S. would not have visual proof of their first place prize in the Space Race. Indeed, more credit should be given to Australia as a whole, because, just as the movie describes, Australia’s was “a vital cog in this grand endeavor” and has become what is said to be “…one of the proudest moments in Australian History.”

I will try and watch it in the next couple of days and will post my comments on the film.

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One Comment to

“Australia and space”

  1. September 17th, 2014 at 4:45 am      Reply nsadler Says:

    I enjoyed listening to you talk about your research and I thought you engaged thoughtfully in this topic since you were able to answer questions without having to refer to your notes all the time. This indicates to me that you enjoyed the learning and will remember it for time to come. I also like that you looked at the space reace from two points of view and related this to the essential RE quote. As for your blog post – can I suggest you re-read it with an editing eye – especially the name of the first man to walk on the moon!


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