A mystery Morse code operator threatened to interfere with a 250,000 mile link-up with America's robot moon probe Surveyor Three at Tidbinbilla, reported The Canberra Times on this day 54 years ago.
Staff at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, were due to take over command of the spacecraft to order a series of lunar surface pictures.
Shortly before the link was due to be made, the station's highly sensitive 85 foot diameter reflector surface - the dish - began picking up a jumbled stream of Morse code, which would threaten to ruin vital information.
An amateur radio operator on the station's staff was assigned to decode the Morse signals, which conFix this texttinued for 20 minutes.
"The whole thing was baffling," a Tidbinbilla spokesperson said.
"The stream of Morse code didn't make a scrap of sense.
"Whoever was operating the Morse equipment was making a lot of mistakes.
"It seemed like a person who was trying to learn Morse code".
It suddenly ended minutes before staff began commanding the probe and Surveyor Three was successful in taking a sampling of the lunar surface.