Welcome to the official website for the book ‘The Final Orbit – Apollo and Space Shuttle – Australia’s Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station and the End of Ground-Based Manned Spaceflight Tracking’.
Why does this book have a website ?
Good question! Glad you asked!
This book has a website because, whilst it is an incredibly significant piece of history preservation, it needs some help to come into existence. It’s written… we have all of the original images and documents… but now we need to do all of those things that are needed to take something from a draft to a published book – and they have a cost. So, to make sure that everyone has a chance to discover this project, and support the book, and the preservation of history related to human space exploration, we have a website (and a Kickstarter campaign…)
Why does this book matter?
Let me ask you a question –
If you discovered that you held the only copy of an archive of a significant moment in human history, would you act to preserve it?
I’m hoping that your answer is ‘Yes, of course’.
That’s why this book matters. that’s exactly what it’s doing – preserving the history of Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station.
The historic materials that are preserved in this book, the stories, images, diagrams and more, exist nowhere else – not even NASA holds this information. If we do not act to preserve it, it will be lost.
Orroral is gone – demolished in the 1990s after vandalism, nothing now remains but bare concrete pads. Most of those who worked there are gone, passed away peacefully in their old age. There are few left to tell the story.
Philip Clark worked at Orroral for twenty years, eventually managing the Station, and only left when it was closed. For all those years, he kept copies of everything – documents, stories, images, diagrams, recordings and more. That collection is all that remains of the Station, the only archive of its entire history. (You can read about Philip HERE.) He has written a book, with the intent of ensuring that none of this is lost, that his legacy will be the gift of the preservation of this hugely significant part of human history.
We invite you to help make that happen.
How can you help?
There are a few ways that you can help.
- Sign up for our mailing list, so that you are kept up to date with progress.
- Like our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/The-Final-Orbit-Book-1720820131560233/
- Back our Kickstarter campaign once it is live (we will email and tell you, as soon as it is)
(The rewards offered are wonderful – everything from signed collector’s edition copies of the book to memorabilia collections available nowhere else.)
- Tell everyone you know, who has any interest in Space exploration and its history, about this project
- Post about us on social media
- Once the book is published, encourage your local bookstore to carry it.
Where can you learn more about Orroral?
Over time, the amount of information available here, in blog posts and on pages, will grow, as we capture more and more of Orroral’s story, whilst Philip is still here to tell it. If you have particular questions you would like answered, please let us know through the ‘Contact Us‘ page of this site. If you have other material about Orroral’s history, and you would like to contribute to seeing things preserved, please also get in touch.