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Thursday, July 11, 2019, 14:36
Australia called on to help NASA land on the Moon and Mars
By Xinhua
Thursday, July 11, 2019, 14:36 By Xinhua

In this Oct 12, 2018 photo, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine meets with the media at the US embassy in Moscow. (YURI KADOBNOV / AFP)

CANBERRA — The chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has urged Australia to play a role as the US attempts to land people on Mars.

The Parkes Observatory telescope in New South Wales supported the television signals from the Moon in 1969 when Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the moon

In an interview with News Corp Australia ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine praised Australia for its role in broadcasting the landmark event in 1969.

He said that the Australian Space Agency, which was established by the government in 2018, was well-situated to continue the legacy of 1969 and help NASA take the next step in space exploration.

"We are very excited to on-ramp Australia in that agenda … to go to the moon … (and) the next step is Mars," he said.

ALSO READ: Aussie government hints at new space agency similar to NASA

The Parkes Observatory telescope in New South Wales supported the television signals from the Moon in 1969 when Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the celestial body, a contribution Bridenstine said Australians should be proud of.

"Australia played a very significant role," he said.

"We have to remember, when the Apollo program was under way we were in this contest of great power between the US and Soviet Union and trying to demonstrate our political system, our economic system and our technological prowess was superior.

"And part of that required us to make sure we took images and photos but also downlinked the raw footage in real time so the whole world could watch as we demonstrated this technology."

Earlier in July the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) gifted the only copy of the Moon landing broadcast stored outside the US to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

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