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NASA constructed an additional 64-meter antenna (DSS 43) at Tidbinbilla, Australia, in order to provide continuous coverage of spacecraft missions requiring the support of large- aperture antennas. Improvements in technology (construction of more stable and better filtered transmitters and receivers; the shaping of antenna feed optics to eliminate virtually all spillover; and the move to a higher operating frequency, which restricted to a greater degree the direction of the antenna beam) had reduced the possibility of interference from collocated antennas. NASA and its partner agency were thus able to place the new antenna in the same valley as DSS 42. This collocation in turn enabled operating the two antennas from a common control room.
Collins Radio Company was the prime contractor. Under overall JPL management, the firm and its Australian subcontractors began construction of the Tidbinbilla antenna (on the left in the photo) in November 1969 and completed their work in July 1972. Installation of the subreflector, multicone, and control-room electronics followed, and during the period of subsystem testing the antenna supported the Apollo 17 manned lunar landing mission (December 1972) as a backup to the Parkes radio telescope.
DSN Picture Album.