Make Me Smarter #15: A wind storm in Australia nearly interrupted the moon landing broadcast.
When NASA’s Apollo 11 landed on the moon, it was a historic moment for all of humanity, broadcast internationally. But it was also nearly interrupted by a wind storm that blew through Australia. That’s where the Parkes dish, which would receive the broadcast signals from the moon, was located. When a wind storm with 60 mph winds slammed right into the dish, the crew on the ground kept their cool and a delay meant that the storm had time to pass over before the critical signals were finally sent around the world. According to Smithsonian magazine, “Those TV images would never have reached the world’s living rooms without the help of a crack team of Australian scientists and engineers, working in the bush a few hundred miles west of Sydney.”