Thursday, August 26, 2004

Gibber Gabber

Back from Woomera, utterly exhausted. The weather was glorious but I spent much of my time inside, at the Heritage Centre and the library, researching old newspaper clippings and the Woomera newsletter Gibber Gabber. And what a rich mine it turned out to be! I traced the activities of the Natural History Society, who collected artefacts and went looking for rock art sites, and of the Moonwatch group, formed to track Vanguard 1 optically in 1957. There were many notices about Moonwatch meetings but the Gibber Gabber was strangely silent on the event of Sputnik 1's launch. Later, however, the Moonwatchers were happy to report sightings of Sputnik 3. (The moon referred to was the artificial satellite). The idea of having volunteers undertake tracking was promoted by Fred Whipple of the US IGY Committee.

As well hard work, some happy hours were spent in the ELDO bar ....

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