A local question for Melbourne folk, does anyone have fond memories of the Tullamarine Airport's Astrojet Space and Science Centre, it opened 15th August 1970, in a white brick bui

7 replies

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

A local question for Melbourne folk, does anyone have fond memories of the Tullamarine Airport's Astrojet Space and Science Centre, it opened 15th August 1970, in a white brick building still there today at the corner of the first traffic lights to the airport approach on the right hand side. The $1 adult and .50cents children admission was well worth that charge, it had the most amazing electronic/mechanical board featuring a Melbourne map of the CBD right out to the airport, you could press buttons and light up features along the way, it was like a 1970's version of the famous Hamburg miniature airport display in Germany, a top tourist attraction. I can only remember it not lasting long at all. I was enthralled at model planes landing and taking off.

Serg

QFF

Member since 12 Apr 2013

Total posts 870

It was before my life in Australia

hank

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 9

Found an article from it's opening
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1300&dat=19700817&id=g5wQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vpADAAAAIBAJ&pg=5678,3769809&hl=en
 

Unfortunately i'd have to wait another 18 years to be born...

hank

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 9

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1300&dat=19700817&id=g5wQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vpADAAAAIBAJ&pg=5678,3769809&hl=en

Can't edit sorry.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Yes, that's what prompted my question, can you imagine how big the 1750 square foot display board was, enormous.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Oh, by then the black smoke and vapour trails had all dissappeared, the jet engines were no longer deaffening, and the curtains had been replaced by window shutters, and they were thinking of bringing in a no smoking policy.

flyaddict

Member since 16 Dec 2015

Total posts 1

Hi sgb,

I do have fond memories of the Astrojet Space centre. We went there for a school excursion in grade 6 and also a visit to the newly opened Tullamarine airport. It was very exciting and definitely felt like a new age had dawned. The display was mesmerizing with the model of the airport ant the small palnes taking off. 

Also enjoyed the tour of the airport on the same day. It was a much smaller and quiter place then with lots of lounge areas for the public where you could just hang out. Also the restaurant and cocktal bar upstiars were very much admired. It felt like we had caught up to the world as we knew it from American tv at the time. 

It didn.t stay open for long and soon replaced much to my sorrow. The car park at the time was only at ground level and there were always lots of available spots. Ah the good old days. 

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

My mothers girlfriend had a job as a Hostess at the Astrojet Space and Science centre, she used to conduct guided tours, we all thought it was very space age indeed. We used to park the XY Ford in the car park and it usually cost us about 40 cents for about two hours parking. The carpark used to have magnificent gardens, all box hedges and flowers around hexagon garden beds, it wasnt uncommon to see folk tucking into a picnic lunch.  The uniformed car park attendants had cash booths under the down ramp just past TAA. Tullamarine was miles from anywhere, and when you drove way past suburbia you could see the magnificent site from the Mickelham road hill of the freeway, the airport in white concrete and pink glass was very streamlined, those big Ansett, INTERNATIONAL and TAA Neon signs said it all, the Travelodge Hotel was a landmark, the only highrise north of the city. The airport had 10 departure lounges each for Ansett and TAA, and International had 4 departure lounges, we used to stand on the observation decks, Ansett, International North and South and the elevevated upstairs promeande, then over to TAA observation decks. We viewed the delights of parallel lscheduling in operation,  these youngies wouldn't even know what that was, you would see the same Ansett plane back out as was happening over in TAA heading to the same location, they were DC9's, 727's, and Foker F27's, International had the big birds, DC-8's and 707's, some DC 10's and every few days those new 747's, with the 3 windows on the upper deck. I remember my mother enquiring at the Information Desk in International, with a girl who sat at a big desk with a portrait of the Queen behind her, when was the next Jumbo jet due in, we were told with much excitment one would be arriving in other 3 days... The airport floor was sparkling white highly polish vynle tiles, with woodgrain ceilings and flouro lights in long wooden channels. Furniture was plentiful, in units of tree seats and one spot for smoking requisites. Furniture was purple and some other orange colour, very bright, very 1970's and modern, down at International out front of the wooden doors that International arrivals stepped out was a stunning collection of huge framed paintings showing flight throughout the ages, don't know what happened to that either, vanished after numerous awful refurbishments. I could rattle on forever here, Thanks for your sharing your reply.

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