Page 4179 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 24 October 2018

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the objectives in the original legislation that created it: the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space; the development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space; and the establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from the opportunities for and the problems involved in the utilisation of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.

As it celebrates its 60 years, NASA has truly delivered, from the moon landing to the rovers on Mars; from the space shuttle to the pioneer satellites carrying plaques through the unknowns of space in case they are encountered by extraterrestrial life; and, of course, the images of our galaxy that have been produced by the Hubble space telescope. Happy birthday, NASA.

MS CODY: Minister, will Canberra be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, without NASA we would have neither the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, fondly known as Tidbinbilla, nor tracking stations at Orroral Valley or Honeysuckle Creek, all of which played roles in the Apollo program, a program that led to humankind setting foot beyond our planet for the first time.

Without Canberra, the world might not have seen this famous occasion or heard Neil Armstrong’s famous words. The success of Apollo 11 depended on the remarkable precision and coordination among the engineers and specialists who supported the operations. The men and women of Honeysuckle Creek developed a body of knowledge in Canberra upon which we can advance our current space and spatial science capabilities.

The government is looking at a number of ways that we can mark the 50th anniversary next year and not only showcase the moon landing but also highlight our city’s leadership in Australia’s space industry. This includes upgrading the walking tracks between Orroral Valley, Honeysuckle Creek and the Orroral geodetic dome, as well as interpretive material around the Ngunnawal understanding of the sky.

This year’s heritage grants also supported a number of Canberrans and groups to help celebrate this achievement, including through an art exhibition and short film documentary. Questacon will also be holding a major exhibit next year, including the highlighting of Canberra’s involvement. As I said, these are just some of the ways that we will be marking this important event. I look forward to sharing further ways we will be marking the anniversary and the role our city played.

MS ORR: Minister, what is the significance of the space sector to Canberra?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her question. While NASA and the moon landing played a significant role in both the territory and the nation’s space sectors, Canberra’s leadership extends beyond this. The first commonwealth building in Canberra was the dome at Mount Stromlo to house the Oddie telescope. We are also the home of the design and manufacture of Australia’s first cube satellite. We host a

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