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ESTRACK station in  Redu, Belgium
ESTRACK station in Redu, Belgium

The European Space Tracking (ESTRACK) network consists of a number of ground-based space-tracking stations belonging to the European Space Agency (ESA), and operated by the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The stations support various ESA spacecraft and facilitate communications between ground operators and scientific probes such as XMM-Newton, Mars Express, BepiColombo, Gaia. Similar networks are run by the USA, China, Russia, Japan, and India.

Composition

Locations of ESTRACK's ESA owned stations (in blue) on a world map
Locations of ESTRACK's ESA owned stations (in blue) on a world map
ESTRACK Network Operations Centre in ESOC
ESTRACK Network Operations Centre in ESOC
This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2014)

As well as the ESTRACK Control Centre [1] in ESOC, the network consists of eight ESA-owned stations. The stations are:

ESA stations

[9]

Former stations

In addition, other stations from other organizations as also used by ESA to support their spacecraft.

Some Cooperative stations

Antennas

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2014)

Each ESTRACK station is different, supporting multiple missions, some sharing one or more of the same missions. The ESTRACK core network consists of:

The antennas are remotely operated from the ESTRACK Network Operations Centre (NOC) located at ESOC. The ESTRACK core network is completed by antenna belonging to cooperative agencies and antennas belonging to commercial partners.

On 1 January 2013, the 35-metre station Marlargüe became the newest station to join the ESTRACK Deep Space Network.

The station in Santa-Maria can be used to track Ariane launches and it is also capable of tracking Vega and Soyuz launchers operated from ESA's Spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana.[10]

The antenna in Malindi (Malindi Space Centre (Kenya)[11]) can be used for Launch and Early Orbit Phases.

The small antenna in New-Norcia can be used for Launch and Early Orbit Phases and for tracking rain, Vega and Soyuz launchers operated from ESA's Spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana.

See also

References

  1. ^ esa. "Network Operations Centre". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  2. ^ esa. "New Norcia - DSA 1". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ esa. "Cebreros - DSA 2". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ esa. "Malargüe - DSA 3". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  5. ^ esa. "Kiruna station". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  6. ^ esa. "Kourou station". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  7. ^ esa. "Redu station". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. ^ esa. "Santa Maria station". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ esa. "Estrack". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  10. ^ . ESA – ESA Spacecraft Operations – Boosting capability: Santa Maria station to join ESTRACK
  11. ^ "ESA tracking antenna Malindi". European Space Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2019.

Coordinates: 31°02′53″S 116°11′31″E / 31.04806°S 116.19194°E / -31.04806; 116.19194