The Dish 27.04.12
The Dish is a 2000 Australian film that tells the story of how the Parkes Observatory was used to relay the live television of man’s first steps on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. It was the top grossing film in Australia in 2000.
The radio telescope at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, was used by NASA throughout the Apollo program to receive signals in the Southern Hemisphere, along with the NASA Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra.The film tells a somewhat fictionalised story of three Australian scientists/engineers (Neill, Harrington, and Long) and their American NASA representative (Warburton). It had been decided quite late in the planning for Apollo 11 to include a television camera to broadcast the first steps on the Moon. Due to the timing of this, Australia would be the prime receiving station. The film tells of the three dealing with a variety of problems, from a power outage wiping their computer memory, to high winds that could cause the whole telescope to collapse. After the Apollo 11 crew decide to walk immediately after landing on the Moon, Parkes thinks they have lost their chance to be the prime receiving station. However, due to delays on the Moon and problems with Goldstone they achieve the distinction at the last minute.