Apollo Lunar Surface Journal Banner

Colin Mackellar

I was born in Sydney, Australia in 1956.

I have always been fascinated by astronomy and space exploration. After a short stint with the Post Master General's Department (now Telstra), I studied at the University of Sydney, majoring in Geology and Geophysics - in the hope that geologists would be needed to interpret data from a new wave of planetary exploration. (Seemed like a good idea at the time!)

After university, I worked as an exploration geologist before changing track and studying theology at Moore College in Sydney. In 1986, I was ordained into the Christian ministry in the Anglican Church of Australia. I currently serve in a parish in western Sydney. My long-suffering congregation is now used to sermons illustrated with references to astronomy and the Apollo program. I am married, with three children.

In my spare time, I am compiling a website covering activities and personnel at Honeysuckle Creek during Apollo.

The first photo was taken in October 1971 and shows me outside the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in the Australian bush south of Canberra. NASA used Honeysuckle's video for Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon on Monday July 21 (Australian time) 1969.

Colin at Honeysuckle Creek in 1971

The second photo was taken July 16 2002, and shows me with Mike Dinn (left), who was Deputy Station Director of Honeysuckle Creek for the Apollo missions and who was on the Honeysuckle operations console during the Apollo 11 lunar EVA. Mike later went on to become Station Director of the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Centre west of Canberra. In the background is the former Honeysuckle dish which received the Apollo 11 TV downlink in 1969. In 1974, HSK joined the Deep Space Network as DSS 44. In December 1981, Honeysuckle closed and the 26-metre antenna was relocated to Tidbinbilla, modified and renamed DSS 46.
Colin and Mike at Tidbinbilla in 2002