World Moon Bounce Day will be June 27 in Australia and June 26 in the U.S., Echoes of Apollo (EOA), an international space education organization, in cooperation with the National Space Society, will announce Tuesday. Participants worldwide will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing by bouncing radio voice transmissions off the moon, known as “moon bounce.”
In collaboration with schools, amateur radio organizations, and cultural groups, people from around the world will communicate with one another via the moon using more than 13 dish antennas, including the 150-ft.-diameter Stanford Research Institute radio dish in Palo Alto, California; the 70-ft. dish at Morehead State University at Space Science Center in Kentucky; the 25-meter Dwingeloo Radio Telescope dish in Dwingeloo Holland; and the 90-ft. dish of the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania.
These antennas will bounce transmissions off the moon, to be received by dish antennas in other countries. Station operators and their guests will experience the thrill of hearing their own voice or that of others talking via the moon, with a delay of about 2.5 seconds. (The June 27 date is based on optimal alignment of the Moon and Earth for participating dish locations.)
“World Moon Bounce Day is part of Echoes of Apollo, a four-year global party that will re-educate new generations about the Apollo missions and in particular, the Apollo 11 mission,” said Sydney-based Robert Brand, the International Events Manager for EOA. In 1969 at age 17, Brand wired up NASA communications equipment in Sydney that relayed the data from the moon via the Parkes and Honeysuckle Creek radio telescopes, including video and data from the Lunar Module and Command Module.
World’s biggest space party
Echoes of Apollo, billed as “the world’s biggest space party,” was formed in 2008 by people involved in or interested in the Apollo moon missions. It is the first stage of a four-year-long effort to re-focus attention on the moon, the Apollo missions of 40 years ago, and a possible future return to the moon. The group will further the spirit of exploration of space and the advancement of science, recognize space as a way to connect the people of Earth, and show how the knowledge of space can be used to solve the problems of the planet.
“For three months (June to August 2009), we will be celebrating space exploration around the world with an incredible diversity of events, fun, and learning in honor of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon,” said California-based EOA coordinator Patrick Barthelow, AA6EG. This may be the last time that those involved in the original Apollo 11 mission can take part in a public celebration. It will bring people together after 40 years, and help focus attention on the future of space exploration.”
Resources: Rare video footage of Apollo 11, photos, a review of moon-bounce (EME, Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, and a profile of “The Dish,” an award-winning 2000 film starring Sam Neill.