Australia’s message to the Moon

Australia’s message to the Moon

Friday, 19 July 2019

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Former Prime Minister John Gorton speaking to a reporter outside the former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station dish in July 1969

A time capsule disc on the moon, left there 50 years ago, includes a message from Australia’s then-Prime Minister John Gorton.

As part of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, NASA invited a number of world leaders to submit a message to be microfilmed and left in a capsule on the surface of the Moon.

‘Australians are pleased and proud to have played a part in helping to make it possible for the first man from earth to land on the moon,’’ he said.

Prime Minister Gorton also visited the technicians at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in the ACT and acknowledged the role Australia played in making this feat happen.

He arrived on the morning of the 21st of July 1969, just hours before the historic first steps by American astronaut Neil Armstrong.

In a statement at the facility Prime Minister Gorton also congratulated the American astronauts.

‘We marvel at the high courage and the skill of the astronauts and at the scientific genius which made this adventure possible,’ he said.

‘These astronauts have dared dangerously and successfully and they have carried out man's urge to go always a little further, to explore and know the previously unknown, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.’

You can read the Prime Minister’s full message left on the Moon, as well as his tribute to the US and its astronauts on the PM Transcripts website. The site provides an historical archive of all Prime Ministerial transcripts dating back to the 1940’s.

You can also read the 1969 Apollo 11 Goodwill messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world on the NASA website.

Images:  Colin Mackellar (