Australia has played a significant and ongoing role in space technology and research and has made an important contribution
to deep space tracking. Australia was also heavily involved in the Apollo 11 mission, which led to the first man ever to
walk on the moon. The Year of Space Five Dollar coin was issued in 1992 as both an uncirculated business
strike and as
strikes in the normal aluminium bronze alloy and in silver.
The item is a commemorative coin, which is intended to represent the considerable achievement and
ongoing contributions made by Australia to the industry of International Space Travel. The
reverse features a special design created by John Skillington and includes the Southern Cross above a map of Australia.
John Skillington of New South Wales was the creative winner of a nationwide competition held in 1991, the prize of which
was to have his design featured. The reverse features the traditional
effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, by Maklouf and the
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1992.
The original packaging for the 1992 Year of Space
Coin is of course also designed according to the space theme. As well as a brief description of the coin, the packaging
also includes an inspirational space related quote, which reads "Space. Since the dawn of time man has looked to the night sky with wonderment and fascination, drawn to the stars with almost mystic curiosity".
This is an apt and appropriate description of the attitude that man holds towards space and the universe. The packaging goes
on to say To commemorate Australia's invaluable and ongoing role in space technology and research, the Royal Australian Mint
has produced this very special $5 coin. For anyone with an interest in Australia's involvement and contribution to International
Space Travel, this commemorative coin makes a great memento.
A film named 'The Dish' was released in 2000 which depicts the way in which the Parkes Observatory was used in order to
capture and relay on live television the video transmission of man's first steps on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission
in 1969. The film became the top grossing film in Australia in the year 2000 and although the personal stories are somewhat
fictional, the way in which the radio telescope at Parkes and the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station were utilised is accurate.
A lot of the credit for receiving the live images of those first steps on the moon must be given to Australia as the primary
receiving station. NASA was alternating the television signal between different stations but Parkes quickly emerged as the
far superior option. Australia continues to contribute to space related research and has a number of programs aimed to encourage
young people to become involved with the industry.
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