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After a few years' experience with the first antenna station at Woomera, whose remoteness had led to high staff turnover, subsidized housing, and long support lines, NASA decided to locate a second station in the Tidbinbilla Valley, about 35 killometers (22 miles) southwest of Canberra, Australia's capital. The station was completed in early 1965, just in time to support the Mariner 4 encounter with Mars.
The station would soon be joined in the Australia Capital Territory by two other NASA facilities with 26-meter antennas: A station to support Earth-orbiting satellites began operating in Orroral Valley in October 1965 and another, to support the lunar phase of the Apollo manned missions, was completed at Honeysuckle Creek in December 1966. The growing concentration of stations in the region led in the mid-1960s to the establishment of a communications switching center at the Deakin Telephone Exchange in Canberra, replacing an earlier one in Adelaide.
DSN Picture Album.