During Apollo 16, at a Mission Elapsed Time of 139:40:04, about 30 minutes after the EVA-2 wake-up call, the comm link between Australia and Houston was lost and, in what he later described as the 'highlight' of his long career, Honeysuckle Creek Operations Manager John Saxon spent six and a half minutes talking to John Young and Charlie Duke, a conversation in which Young asked the Aussies to 'have a Swan for us'. Swan Lager is a Western Australian beer. Saxon replied with a 'permanent invite' for the crew to visit Honeysuckle after the mission and promised to 'keep the beer cool for you'.
On the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11, John Young visited Australia to present a large lunar sample and, on that occcasion, Saxon was able to 'shout' Young to a Swan.
Dwight Steven Boniecki wrties, "Recently, at an Autographica convention in the UK, a presentation was made on behalf of John Saxon in which the promise was made good from the Apollo 16 mission. Charlie finally received his Swan with a personal note from John Saxon."
The following photo shows Charlie and Dwight on 9 October 2004.
"It was not until 2002, after discovering the ALSJ and acquiring some Spacecraftfilms DVDs that I seriously got into the Apollo missions. Being Australian, being in contact with John Saxon, and knowing I would meet Charlie Duke at the Autographica convention, it seemed only right that Charlie should be presented with the Swan Beer. John supplied a letter for Charlie and I arranged to get the Swan Brewery to ship out some beer especially for the event."
Apart from my space interest, I also work as a Transmission Controller for RTL Television in Germany. I am stilled awed by the way in which satellite communiaction works, and I am duly astounded at the apparent ease at which the tracking station folk brought the world lunar TV!
31 October 2004