IN the back shed at Raymond McLaren's Andromeda Industries is a very precious piece of cargo; a multi-million dollar satellite tracking camera built in the late 1950's.
The Baker-Nunn telescope made the hair-raising journey from Coonabarabran's Siding Spring Observatory on the back of a truck Tuesday afternoon.
Originally built to observe the satellites put into space by the Russians and Americans, after a bit of a tinker from Mr McLaren it will be moved to the newly built Tamworth Regional Astronomy Centre.
An engineer by trade, Mr McLaren said it won't take him long to work out the mechanics but the operation is a much more difficult ball-game.
"These were made in the 1950's and 60's, the spherical mirror is an expensive thing to make and legend is they cost millions of dollars each," he said.
"We'll take the existing camera out and put in a more modern camera and it will be back in use again with a bit of engineering."
The camera was donated by the University of NSW and can be used to look at satellites and debris 40,000 kilometres above Earth.
It's an F1 fast, light-gathering camera, club member Phil Betts said.
"It is extremely rare, there were a number of them built across the world but because of the age and the technology they didn't update them and this one has been," he said.
"It will be updated further but they are very, very rare; you won't come across them again."
The new astronomy centre is expected to be completed by the end of March and then opened to the public.