[amsat-bb] Re: reminiscing about a long ago

richard@g3rwl.demon.co.uk richard at g3rwl.demon.co.uk
Sat Dec 27 09:38:54 PST 2008

James W8ISS wrote:
I am wondering how many of us had relatives that did something during those fun times?

No relatives, just lil ole me. I was mixed up in the manned space flight comms network in the Gemini days of the 1960's. NASA's comm links to various places came through London and I worked for the British Post office in the control centre for overseas telegraph comms but we did NASA voice as well as teletype and telemetry too via our wireless stations - to their tracking stations in Kano (Nigeria), Canary Islands and Tananarive (Madagascar). I even had a special desk which was staffed 24 hours a day during a manned flight. Still have tapes from the voice network for some of the Gemini missions (haven't played them for years). 

Nasa's London comm switching centre was in the same building and there was a multi-rack computerised message switch there. One night shift I stuck a label on the side of it that said "made by slave labour in the Soviet Union". The (American) Station Director had a sense-of-humour failure over that one (remember this was in the 1960's) but I don't think they ever found out who applied the sticker.

Richard G3RWL

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