Arbitrarily, those Lindsays listed here will be that group whose lives
and achievements are noteworthy, and are still living
The most notable achievement of Hamish Peter Lindsay is the authorship of his book entitled Tracking Apollo to the Moon, published by Springer-Verlag (London) in 2001 covering the story of space flight from the first balloon flight to the Apollo-Soyuz mission, with the full story of the Mercury and Gemini missions. First-hand accounts are used wherever possible plus contact with astronauts and relevant Houston flight controllers. It is the only book on NASA’s manned flight programs that brings in the story of the ground communication systems, in particular the crucial part played by the tracking stations in the rescue of Apollo 13. The book has been very well received by the public, particularly by people in the space industry in the USA. Chris Kraft, NASA’s first Flight Director and retired Director of the Johnson Space Center, said it is one of the most accurate and readable books on the subject he has seen; and Buzz Aldrin requested five copies for his personal use. Many have said that reading it was like being there. We have abridged Lindsay’s biographical narrative a little for this site. His Lindsay lineage has been DNA tested and has been proven to be a part of Lindsay DNA Group 12.
His lineage runs back to Samuel Lindsay born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1784. All known ancestors lived in Glasgow until his father’s generation, when the entire family scattered to the four winds – Canada, Australia, Northern Rhodesia, South Africa, and his father to Burma/India, where he worked as an installation manager for the Burmah-Shell Oil Company at Rangoon, Chittagong, Calcutta, Madras, Portuguese Goa, Cochin, and Bombay (now Mumbai).
He first went to school in Bombay. When his father retired in 1946 the family moved to Tasmania. There he became a Senior Technical Officer with the government Telecom Radio Installation Group. In 1960 he moved to Sydney, Australia as a commercial photographer before joining Amalgamated Wireless Australasia’s (AWA) Field Installation Group installing the first country television stations in Australia. While with AWA he was responsible for the design and installation of all the Royal Australian Air Force Control Towers around Australia in preparation for the new Mirage jet fighters. In this assignment he had to be familiar with Air Force Air Traffic Control equipment and aircraft procedures.
In 1963 he joined NASA’s Mercury Program tracking station at Muchea, near Perth, Western Australia and trained to work at the new Gemini Program tracking station in Carnarvon, 1000 kilometres north of Perth. Responsible for the maintenance and operation of the voice receivers and time standards, he supported the Gemini missions 4 through 8. After Gemini 8 he transfered to Honeysuckle Creek, the bigger 26-metre Apollo station being built near Canberra. Completing a three-month training course at Collins Radio in Dallas, Texas he joined the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station team as the Ranging and Timing technician in the Unified S Band (USB) area. Again they were building a station from scratch.
In 1968 he was promoted to Supervisor of the Technical Support Section with a staff of six, but returned to the USB operational team for shift work on all Apollo moon-landing missions. After the Apollo missions we went into 24 hour shifts to support the Skylab program. When Honeysuckle Creek left the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) and joined the Deep Space Network (DSN) in 1974, he was put in charge of the dismantling of the station.
He was part of the teams that tracked the Viking landing on Mars, the Voyager missions to Jupiter and Saturn, and the Pioneer Venus mission. The data collected from these roaming spacecraft provided first-hand knowledge of the solar system for the first time. During this time he was assigned to develop a Canberra Space Centre for the public at the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Station. Then came the sad day in November 1981 he was on the shift that conducted the last track before the station was closed down.
He ended up in the legal world as the Senior Technical Officer of the High Court of Australia in Canberra, the only technical staff member, looking after the electronic equipment and conducting all the video links. He is writing the story of Honeysuckle Creek and all the manned and Deep Space missions it supported on a web site,www.honeysucklecreek.net