FIFTY years ago, a Cloncurry local played an important part in the history of Apollo 10's departure to the Moon.
Officer in Charge of Cloncurry Tony Jaques was requested by an Australian representative of the National Broadcasting Corporation TV news service of America to give a live voice description of Apollo 10's departure.
The recording depicted the shuttle positioning earth's orbit through the earth's atmosphere on its trans-lunar journey on May 26, 1969 at 5.27am AEST. Observing conditions were perfect as the spacecraft suddenly appeared for approximately 35 seconds duration.
Tony said "the veil surrounding the relatively large white spot of the rocket's rear end could best be described as resembling a mercury vapor street light seen through thick fog, although it was of a tenuous nature."
The description was broadcast to millions of American television viewers through a reverse charges call to the New York studios of NBC.
Apollo 10 was the fourth crewed mission in the United States Apollo program, and the second to orbit the Moon.
It was the dress rehearsal for the first Moon landing, testing all of the components and procedures, just short of actually landing.
Apollo 10 returned safely to Earth, and its success enabled the first landing to be attempted on the Apollo 11 mission two months later.
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