A little background info on our SocialSpace event next week in Australia!
As you know, #SocialSpaceWA is being held in conjunction with the inauguration of the new 4.5 m-diameter antenna at New Norcia, the site of ESA’s existing 35 m deep-space dish, which routinely communicates with missions such as Rosetta, Mars Express, Gaia and LISA Pathfinder.
A new 4.5 m-diameter ‘acquisition aid’ dish antenna is being added to ESA’s existing New Norcia, Western Australia, tracking station, ready to catch the first signals from newly launched satellites. Credit: ESA
The new tracking antenna, formally dubbed the “New Norcia Acquisition Aid NNO-2,” will be used for communicating with rockets and newly launched satellites, taking advantage of Western Australia’s ideal geographic location under the initial flight path of launchers departing from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Since 2002, ESA has operated a much larger 35 m-diameter deep-space tracking antenna at the New Norcia site, which has most recently provided critical support for missions such as Rosetta, Mars Express and Gaia – all voyaging millions of kilometres away in the Solar System. Its size and technology are not ideal, however, for signalling to rockets or satellites just entering orbit near Earth.
New Norcia ...