Henry Parkes Museum marks 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with display

Before the Parkes Radio Telescope's surface slowly began to transform into the white perforated aluminium panels we see today, it used to be 64 metres of metal mesh.

Since 1970, the inner surface of what we famously call the Dish has progressively been upgraded, with the latest work taking place in 2003.

The Henry Parkes Museum on the Newell Highway is now home to one of those original mesh panels and the Parkes community and visitors are welcome to check it out at the premises.

The museum, which is operated by the Parkes and District Historical Society, is joining in on the town's celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The anniversary takes place this weekend.

"We like to link in with what's happening in Parkes," Parkes and District Historical Society secretary Rosanne Jones said.

"We have so much beautiful, old history, we'd like to be able to share it."

Thanks to the hard work of one of the society's researchers, Rosmary Prior, a special display has been assembled for the viewing pleasure of the public.

We have so much beautiful, old history, we'd like to be able to share it.

Parkes and District Historical Society secretary Rosanne Jones

Along with the original panel from the Dish pre-1970 people can see and touch up close - there are old newspaper clippings and photos, history on the moon landing and history on the radio telescope being built.

"This is what we're all about - working with the Parkes Visitor Centre during events," Rosanne said.

The Henry Parkes Museum is open to the public from 9am to 3pm, seven days a week.

The museum has plans to extend its opening hours this anniversary weekend to 4pm.

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing takes place this weekend, July 20 to 21, and Parkes has a stellar line-up of event planned for the occasion.

Along with open days at the Parkes Radio Telescope that involves a range of activities over the two days - including tours inside the Dish - there are also special events planned in Parkes' CBD.