Chalk ‘n Cheese – the saga continues

PopGoesCanberra's professional photographer, Robyn, recently visited the nether regions of the Australian Capital Territory and surrounds with companion, Eugene...

Continuing on from the Woden Food Court, to the Deep Space Tracking Station, I felt like a small Siberian husky strapped into a satellite hurtling through the outer reaches of the universe, to a galaxy far, far away. But Tidbinbilla’s no place for a space traveler on empty stomach, so I was glad I’d packed the Pal chunks in jelly dog food, just to keep me going. Didn’t look much different to the stuff they feed the astronauts anyway.

It was a bit naïve, I suppose, to actually think that they’d let me have a seat at the console and a twiddle of the equipment. But hey, I’ve got a steady hand, I could be trusted with Voyager for a day – or even Mars Express. No such luck. This is about as close as you get to the action(Below).


One lap of the visitor’s centre later, and I was glad to see that even astronauts take group photos of themselves before they head off in their rockets. Pity there’s no Japanese astronauts amongst the group, sticking their fingers up in a ‘V’ behind each other’s helmets.



(Above)The final twelve: Australia, you decide who gets to come back

But even more intriguing was the glass case display of outfits worn by previous astronauts whilst gadding about in the outer reaches. Fortunately, there seems to be a dedicated wardrobe team on hand, so that everyone’s looking their best when the count-down’s over and it’s finally time for blast off.

It was also pleasing to find that the modern lady astronaut never lets her hair and make-up slip when she’s on a mission.









Getting from to know each other in the interplanetary sense is never a problem for these young bucks, as they cruise from first base to third in their convertible moon buggies.


Home renovations are high on every astronaut’s ‘to-do’ list: I bet Noni and the team from Better Homes & Gardens would have a fit if they saw the mess the Apollo team had made with their cladding (Below right).


And after a hard day rounding up all the chimps, mice and guinea pigs blasted off into space by well-meaning NASA scientists over the years, there’s always time to put up a flag or two.


If all this makes you hungry, just remember, they can pack more food into that café than you’d need to last you all the way from Earth to Mir.


But gaze at those dishes for long enough, and you’ll start to think about filling them with a family size paella. They must get good reception out there, too. I dare say you could pick up Triple MMM with that antenna.


After surveying this troubling scene, all I can say is: watch out stray space dogs of Canberra! Get yourself a licence and a muzzle or you’ll be bundled into a rocket and blasted off from Tidbinbilla. The scientists are getting ready for you as we speak, sewing tiny space suits and freeze-drying the meaty bites.

On the other hand, if you’re already bunkering down for the holocaust, and country driving’s more your thing (or you’re just sick and tired of being drag-raced up Mort street when all you’re trying to do is find a Caltex open on a Thursday night) then get along to the social whirl of down-town Gundaroo.


University entrance score not high enough? Not to worry, the Gundarro public library and literary institute is still taking enrolments for second semester.


While all you ANU graduates may scoff, and think the campus has seen better days, I think this particular state of the art facility should be enough to convince you that Canberra may not be all it’s cracked up to be over the summer, and that you should definitely relocate to the Yass valley to further your life education.



Dogs and all other ex-space-shuttle animals, please bring a plate.
See your careers counselor today!

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