A ‘world first’ dome-shaped coin will be released to commemorate Australia’s role in the historic moon landing 50 years ago.
The Royal Australian Mint has announced a collectible three-coin series to celebrate five decades since Apollo 11’s lunar landing.
Australia’s CSIRO telescope at Parkes, NSW, played a vital role in ensuring communications and tracking of the spacecraft in 1969.
The transmissions from Australia, and the team involved, were immortalised in the partly fictionalised Australian movie The Dish in 2000.
The coins are being touted as the world’s first dome-shaped coloured nickel plated coin, a domed gold coin and a coloured silver domed coin.
They are part of a collection made with the United States Mint.
Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said the coins celebrated a triumph of science and human endeavour across the world.
“We are honoured to share these unique coloured domed coins, including the magnificent collaborative set with the United States Mint, to mark 50 years since Australia shared the first human perspective of the Moon’s surface with the world,” he said.
One side of the coin depicts the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope pointed towards the moon as it received signals of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
Words from Commander Neil Armstrong’s journal of the historic event have also been included on the same side with the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the design.
The reverse side shows one of the Apollo 11 astronauts standing on the surface of the Moon, with the lunar module Eagle in the background.
The Earth stands out in colour and Australia can be seen facing the moon with the journey of the Apollo 11 crew traced in the sky.
Former Parkes radio telescope site electrician and driver Ben Lam said the coins recognised their contribution to sharing the landing to 600 million people globally.
The 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing – 2019 $100 gold proof domed coin is worth $2795, the $5.50 coin costs $195 and the $5 domed coin sells for $150.
For those with less coin to spend, there is a six-coin uncirculated set for $25.