The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is located in Tidbinbilla and is one of three sites in NASA’s Deep Space Network. The Complex provides two way radio contact with robotic spacecraft and space telescopes, through a number of 34 metre dishes and a 70 metre dish – the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Visitors’ Centre at the Complex welcomes 70,000 visitors a year, and is a great introduction to the work that NASA and other space agencies around the world to increase our understanding of the universe. The exhibits cover the history of space flight, the Apollo missions, the Shuttle missions, Australia’s space tracking history, and the current missions that the Complex supports. There are also a number of educational videos and a schedule tracker to help you identify which spacecraft the various dishes are communicating with at any one time.
The Moon Rock café on site provides great coffee too, and has an outdoor deck where if you are lucky you will be able to observe the 70 metre dish returning to stow position after concluding a tracking activity.