10 June 2019
Royal Australian Mint has revealed designs of new limited edition domed coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
The three coins include:
- the world’s first dome-shaped coloured nickel plated coin
- a domed gold coin
- a coloured silver domed coin as part of a collaborative set with the United States Mint
Celebrating Australia's role in Apollo 11
The support of the Apollo 11 mission was a demonstration of Australia’s expertise in spacecraft tracking and communication; sharing news of the‘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.
The obverse of the 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 coins are legal Australian tender and can be purchased from the Mint's website.
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(image and video copyright Royal Australian Mint)