“No,” a volunteer at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex will tell you, if you’re feeling cheeky enough to ask: “You cannot play cricket on the satellite dish.” Looking closely at the enormous devices that make the Communication Complex so visually compelling, that will be fairly obvious without asking – unlike the titular dish of The Dish the radio telescope here is slightly translucent, so you can see the sky through its massive curve.
Aside from the massive communication structures – including the decommissioned but historic DSS-44, which helped in the lunar landing – the Communication Complex also features a small museum. Here, free of charge, you can learn about current and past missions into space, including a surprisingly extensive display on astronauts’ bathroom logistics. The Moon Rock Café, within the same complex, serves comfort food like lasagne and hot chips, while a small playground will keep very little kids entertained, and older space cadets can browse through astronaut suits and NASA memorabilia. If you arrive at the right time of day – usually around midday, but there’s no set schedule – you might get to watch as the giant radio telescope recalibrates, slowly rotating at the base, or tilting at the hinge, against the sky.
|Venue name:||Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex|
Canberra Space Centre
421 Discovery Drive
|Opening hours:||Daily 9am-5pm|