In March 2006, Stan Lebar, Manager of the Westinghouse Lunar TV Camera Program, travelled to Australia to thank the Australian space trackers for their work in bringing the Apollo 11 TV to the world.
Stan spoke at the Honeysuckle Creek / Apollo lunch in Canberra. honeysucklecreek.net
Transcript, courtesy Stan Lebar:
It is not my intent to spend these few precious minutes discussing the TV camera that was used by Armstrong and my role in that effort.
I’m here today to talk about you and the efforts of those of you that were on duty at Honeysuckle Creek, Parkes and Sydney on July 21st 1969 and provided you the entire world with the opportunity to observe in awe through the magic of television the live television of the first human to have ventured on walked on another heavenly body other than the earth.
Armstrong and Aldrin happened to have been from the US but it took the genius and efforts of countless of thousands of unnamed and unrecognized others from the world community to achieve that ultimate success, that does not in any way diminish NASA’s role. Apollo was truly the invention of mankind as a whole, and it will be long remembered as the one time in its history where mankind came together to achieve a common goal… which will always be remembered as Apollo 11.
As the world and I watched the TV images of the event on the moon in utter amazement- you on the other hand were not going to be just a witness observer but one of the most important players whose one and only goal was to serve the world community and posterity by receiving the TV signal from the moon, process and record it and transmit allowing possibly the world’s most important TV imagery to be viewed in the homes and elsewhere for those who lived in every corner of the world. It was not only a daunting task but an awesome responsibility to have been asked of this handful of engineers in Australia who were called on to simply make it ALL HAPPEN, and that you did and as I can attest to you performed brilliantly and the world applauded you. But for the most part were not aware of you as a group or you personally.
But I do know who you are.
I had a vested interest in what you were accomplishing that day. So I’m here today to thank you as a group and individually for your dedication and expertise you brought to the Apollo Program during that magical moment and nurtured that TV signal as created by the Apollo Lunar Camera on the moon and provide the very best television for all to see.
You have no idea how I envy what you, only handful of people in the entire world who saw the imagery as provided by the Camera direct from the moon before it was processed and transmitted. You saw what no one in the world was given the opportunity to see … not me not NASA not anyone else in the world. Although I would have gladly given up my place as mission control to have been with you that day…it was not to be.
But today I am here and I want you to know that where the world may not know what you as a group and individuals accomplished… I knew then as I do today and now… that the TV signal that was produced by my Camera was being received and processed by engineers and technicians who were to no-one.
I probably understand what you experienced that day better than anyone in the world and my message is that I know that the world thanks you, NASA thanks you, Australia thanks you and above all I thank you for giving me that most precious special moment in my life time, and I thank you.