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ESTRACK station in Redu, Belgium

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

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CompositionEdit

 
Locations of ESTRACK's ESA owned stations on a world map
 
ESTRACK control centre in ESOC

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

ESA stations [2]Edit


Former stationsEdit

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

Some Cooperative stationsEdit

AntennasEdit

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

  • Three 35-metre diameter antennas (New Norcia, Cebreros and Malargüe).
  • Six 15-metre antennas
  • One 13-metre antenna
  • One 12-metre antenna
  • One 5.5-metre antenna
  • Six GPS-TDAF antennas

There are also at least eleven smaller antennas with sizes of 9.3 to 2.5-metres. The antennas are remotely operated from the ESTRACK Control Centre (ECC) located at ESOC.

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.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit