2021-01-29 01:07:17 UTC
There is a dish in a place called Parkes, which I expect to visit in August.
It is actually a huge parabolic reflector, used as a radio telescope.
As per mainstream history, it was used to collect the TV signal from the Apollo 11 moon landing and transmit it to the world.
In 1969 Parkes thus enjoyed unprecedented attention from dignitaries.
But as per the film, disaster could have easily happened.
As a result of a power outage, the computers (then ancient) could not be restored to their earlier state. Apparently the backup generator did not start as the fuel lines had not been primed by the negligent clowns.
In the film they claimed that the system was running on UPS. A generator backup was thus there.
I am reasonably sure that in UPS you have a battery backup that kicks in seamlessly when the mains go off. So there is no chance of generator failure causing problems. Of course, the generator will start after a while and last till the mains come on.
But there was no word of battery backup, in the film.
Anyway, why did the moon landing was so timed as only Parkes could pick it up and not any US site? Surely it a 12 hour wait at most. They could easily have circled the moon for 12 hours.
The film made me nostalgic, thinking of the difficult first eight years of my career, when I was an Antenna Development Engineer, testing large antennas at the remote test site near Sohna. Then I was young, and could climb up the positioner easily to make adjustments to the antennas I was testing.