The second man to set foot on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, is scheduled to touch down in Perth on Wednesday for the official opening of the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum.
Carnarvon is on Western Australia's mid-west coast, about 900km north of Perth, and is the site of two space stations that played vital roles in the first moon landing on July 21, 1969, and other United States space missions.
Commissioned by NASA in 1964, the Carnarvon Tracking Station operated for 11 years and was the last point of communication between rockets leaving earth's orbit and space capsules returning, just before they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
The nearby OTC Satellite Earth Station opened in 1966 as part of the global satellite communications system and beamed the first live broadcast into WA - aptly the first moon landing.
The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum commemorates not only the remote town's historic role in the space race, but the development of satellite telecommunications in Australia.
Dr Aldrin was the second man to step on the moon after Neil Armstrong.
A third member of the mission, Michael Collins, orbited the moon waiting to pick them up.
Dr Aldrin is expected to arrive in Perth from the US on Wednesday before heading straight to Carnarvon to launch the space museum, which will officially open during the Carnarvon Space Festival on Friday and Saturday.
WA Tourism Minister Kim Hames said Dr Aldrin's visit was an honour for Carnarvon and the museum.
"The Carnarvon Tracking Station played a pivotal role in NASA's Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs," Mr Hames said in a statement.
"In fact, Dr Aldrin himself assembled equipment on the moon's surface which was switched on by the Carnarvon Tracking Station for data collection."
WA Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the festival was a great way to celebrate the state's outback history."A visit from an American hero like Dr Buzz Aldrin is proof our state is truly extraordinary and shows how we can play an integral part in international events," he said.
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