The Royal Australian Mint has released a special coin series to celebrate 50 years since Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind”.
One of the coins depicts* a version of the iconic* scene photographed by Neil Armstrong of Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
It also celebrates Australia’s role in capturing the famous footage* of the lunar landing by featuring an image of the dish at the Parkes Observatory, which was one of several antennae used to receive live televised images of the event in 1969.
The Earth is pictured in colour behind astronaut Buzz Aldrin with Australia pointed directly at the landing to symbolise its role in the groundbreaking* event.
And behind the image of the Parkes dish facing the moon is an excerpt* from Mr Armstrong’s journal of the lunar landing.
The coins, which will be released for collection only (rather than for general circulation), will be dome shaped to resemble the famous observatory in New South Wales.
Three versions of the coins are now available to order, which includes a five and a half dollar coin, a $5 coin and a $100 coin in gold.
The series was crafted in collaboration* with the mint’s US counterpart, with that country’s version featuring an image of the footprint on the moon’s surface instead of the dish.
And on the other side is a close-up representation from the famous photograph entitled Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, which was photographed by Mr Armstrong.
Lunar module pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin faces the viewer with the reflection in his helmet of the surface of the moon, Mr Armstrong standing by lunar module Eagle, and the US flag placed at the lunar landing site.
Operations Scientist at CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, John Sarkissian, said the Apollo 11 mission gave Australia the opportunity to broadcast its expertise in spacecraft tracking and communication.
The Parkes Observatory and NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra made it possible for millions of people around the world to watch the historic event from their loungerooms.
“Australia and CSIRO are world-leaders in radio astronomy and antenna design,” Mr Sarkissian said.
“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.”
Former Parkes radio telescope site electrician and driver Ben Lam said it was an honour to be a part of the Apollo 11 extended team.
“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,” he said.
Former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station deputy station director Mike Dinn said the landing was 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,” he said.
“It was a triumph of engineering, and showed what can be achieved by humankind.”
Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said it was a triumph of science and human endeavour*.
“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,” he said.
The Lunar Landing two coin set — 2019 $5 and US half-dollar proof domed coin has a mintage* of 10,000 and retails at $195.00.
The Lunar Landing — 2019 $5 nickel plated fine silver proof domed coin has a mintage of 10,000 and retails for $150.00.
The Lunar Landing — 2019 $100 gold proof domed coin has a mintage of 750 and retails at $2795.00.
LEARN ABOUT THE MOON LANDING
To celebrate 50 years since the moon landing, Kids News has created an in-depth digital inquiry kit with 25-activity workbook. Suitable for Years 3-8.
It includes topics and curriculum-based learning activities on:
- The moon
- Early space exploration
- The three Apollo 11 astronauts
- Their training
- The Apollo 11 spaceship
- Launch and journey to the moon
- The landing
- Australia’s role in the landing
- Conspiracy theories
- Why we haven’t been back to the moon for so long.
Kit cost: $5 including GST until August 31, 2019, then $20 until December 31, 2020. To order, visit: https://kidsnews.myshopify.com/products/moon-landing
- depicts: shows
- iconic: symbolic and usually also means important
- footage: film
- groundbreaking: different to anything before it
- excerpt: short extract from a film
- collaboration: working with someone to make something
- endeavour: an attempt to reach a goal
- mintage: how many are minted, or made by the Mint
- What organisation has released this Australian coin?
- Why is the NSW town of Parkes mentioned in the story?
- What is the difference between the Australian and US versions of the coin?
- What is Mike Dinn’s connection to the moon landing?
- How many years is it since a human has been on the moon?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Front page news
The moon landing was huge news! Use key facts you have learnt from this article to create your own version of a newspaper front page from the day after the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Your cover should include a headline, a write-up on the events and an image (or images) with caption(s). You could enhance the authenticity of your creation by researching and using the name and masthead of a real newspaper in circulation at the time and its price in 1969.
Time: allow 45-120 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Humanities
Do you know anyone who remembers the first moon landing? Perhaps your grandparents were children at the time and remember watching on television? Think of some questions you would like to ask someone who remembers the event.
Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
Preposition is a word used to link nouns, pronouns or phrases within a sentence. They are words like at, for, in, off, over and under. Often they are used to describe a location, place or time.
Look through the article and highlight all the words that you can find that are simple prepositions.
Pick three to use in new sentences to demonstrate prepositions.
HAVE YOUR SAY: If you could have any coin you’ve ever heard about, what would it be? Do you collect coins? Do you have any special coins?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.