The Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) is launching new limited edition domed coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with those who worked on the historic transmission of Apollo 11 in Australia.
Three new coins were released including the world’s first dome-shaped coloured nickel plated coin, a domed gold coin and a coloured silver domed coin as part of a collaborative set with the United States Mint.
The coins were launched by the Royal Australian Mint’s CEO, Ross MacDiarmid with the support of Operations Scientist at CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, Mr John Sarkissian; former Parkes radio telescope site electrician and driver, Ben Lam; former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station Deputy Station Director, Mike Dinn; and Royal Australian Mint Coin Designer, Adam Ball.
Royal Australian Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid says the coins celebrate a historic triumph of science and human endeavour in Australia and the world.
“We are honoured to share these unique coloured domed coins, including the magnificent collaborative set with the United States Mint, to mark 50 years since Australia shared the first human perspective of the Moon’s surface with the world,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
The obverse of the new coins depicts the famous CSIRO Parkes radio telescope pointed towards the Moon, from which it is receiving television signals of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The text in the background is an excerpt from the transcript of Commander Neil Armstrong’s journal of the lunar landing. The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is set into a circle at the base of the design.
The reverse of the new coins depicts one of the Apollo 11 astronauts standing on the surface of the Moon, with the lunar module Eagle in the background. The Earth, visible in colour, in the sky behind the astronaut, shows Australia directly facing the Moon. A representation of the long journey taken by the Apollo 11 crew from Earth to the Moon is traced in the sky.
The support of the Apollo 11 mission was a fantastic demonstration of Australia’s expertise in spacecraft tracking and communication. Sharing news of this ‘giant leap’ was made possible by the technology and Australian teams at NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra and CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope in NSW.
“Australia and CSIRO are world-leaders in radio astronomy and antenna design. This is why NASA came to Australia and the CSIRO Parkes telescope, for our support and geographic location. It’s also the reason why we continue to play a role in NASA space missions,” said Mr John Sarkissian, Operations Scientist at CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope.
Former Parkes radio telescope site electrician and driver, Mr Lam said “as a member of the Parkes radio telescope team, it was an honour to be associated with the Apollo 11 support”.
“These new coins recognise our contribution to the mission’s success and support in sharing the powerful collective experience of the first steps on the Moon to 600 million people around the world”.
Former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station Deputy Station Director, Mike Dinn said the Apollo 11 Moon landing turned out to be the most dramatic event of the century.
“I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to participate in a significant way. It was a triumph of engineering, and showed what can be achieved by humankind.”
The 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing Two Coin Set – 2019 $5 & Half Dollar Proof Domed Coin has a mintage of 10,000 and retails at $195.00. The 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing – 2019 $5 Nickel Plated Fine Silver Proof Domed Coin has a mintage of 10,000 and retails $150.00. The 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing – 2019 $100 Gold Proof Domed Coin has a mintage of 750 and retails at $2795.00.
The Mint has also released 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing – 2019 Six Coin Year Sets in proof and uncirculated finishes, featuring depictions of the transmission of the Moon landing at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in 1969. The proof set retails at $100.00 and the uncirculated set retails at $25.00.
The coins are Australian legal tender and can be purchased from the Mint’s website or Contact Centre (1300 652 020).
Royal Australian Mint: Heather McGirr, Heather.McGirr@ramint.gov.au, 0418 164 769