Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1946 - Astronomy

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

1957 - Sputnik 1

My interest in Astrophysics and Astrononomy started way back in 1946.
A comet approached the Solar System and was clearly visible around midnight here in Melbourne, low in the western sky.
My Dad showed me this comet - we saw it from a laneway which was adjacent to our back fence, in Auburn.
In 1950 I bought a telescope - this was about 2 ft long and 2" diameter. From our back yard in Auburn I saw many celestial objects, including thd Moon, Saturn and its rings, Jupiter and its moons, Mars, Venus and Mercury.
In 1956 I upgraded to a large refkecting telescope with azimuth mount - this was about 1 metre long, 6 " mirror, on a tripod, with  a small sighting telescope.  
From Auburn, I studied the universe, parfticularly the brilliant colors of  the various nebulae.
In 1956, I completed a two month evening course "Introduction to Astronomy", at the Swinburne Institute of Techology (now known as Swinburne University), in Hawthorn. On ths roof of the Science building was a very large refracting telescope, which allowd us to observe lots of astronomical objecrs. This instrument was about 3 metres long and about 1 metre in diameter.

1957 - Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth oprbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957.
The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1's success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the Space Age.

Apart from its value as a technological first, Sputnik also helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer's density, through measuring the satellite's orbital changes. It also provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere.

Pressurized nitrogen in the satellite's body provided the first opportunity for meteorid detection. If a meteoroid penetrated the satellite's outer hull, it would be detected by the temperature data sent back to Earth

Sputnik 1 was launched during the Internatiomal Geopysical Year from Site No. 1/5, at the 5th Tyuratam, in azhk SSR (now at the Baikonur Cosmodrome)). The satellite travelled at 29,000 kilometers (18,000 mi) per hour, taking 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, and emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz  which were monitored by amateur radioo operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 22 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957. Sputnik 1 burned up on 4 January 1958, as it fell from orbit upon reentering Earth's atmosphere, after travelling about 60 million km (37 million miles) and spending 3 months in orbit.

The transmmssions on 20.005 MHz were easily heard here in Melbourne, as Sputnik pssed overhead in its low orbit. 

In 1957, I signed up for a three month evening course in Astronomy, conducted by the the Council of Adult Education, in the city.
When we moved to our new home in Mont Albert in 1959, serious astronomical workl was limited due to visual pollution from street lighting, which meant that my interest in practical astronom came to an end, and I sold the telescope in the early 1960s.
July 21, 1969 was the date of the first moonlanding. At the  time I was working in the PMG's Engineering Workshops in South Melbnourne. As there was no TV set in our office, some of us walked across the road to the Philip's factory, where we knew some of the engineers there. We watched the landing on TV there, and those of us who were around at that time will recall the first images of Neil Amstrong's bouncy touchdown, which were upside down! Australian imaging originated from the deep-space tracking station at Tidbinbilla, near Canberra.
In 1976, I visited the North American Space Administration centre in Florida, seeing first-hand the equipment and facilities usd in the Apollo flights. 
In 2008, I signed up for a part-time 12-week evening course in Astrophysics at Swinburne University. This requited engineering, mathemetical and electronics knowledge, as assignments were set to reinforce the concepts introduced in the lectures.
By that time, SUT had become onf of the leading-edge Astrophysics centres in Australia, and we were shown some amazing imaging, some in real time, on a huge iMax screen, orginating from deep space-tracking facilities worldwide.

July 21 1969 - first moonlanding

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