ESA deep space support for Aditya, Chandrayaan-3 this year | India News


The European Space Agency has said its deep-space communication antennas will be providing essential support to Isro’s proposed Moon and Sun missions — Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1.
“Isro is launching two pioneering scientific spacecraft this year, one to study the Sun, and one to land on the Moon – the nation’s first soft landing on another celestial body. ESA’s global deep-space communication antennas will provide essential support to both missions every step of the way, tracking the spacecraft, pinpointing their locations at crucial stages, transmitting commands and receiving ‘telemetry’ and valuable science data,” ESA said.
Isro and ESA signed an agreement to provide technical support to each other, including tracking and communication services to upcoming Indian space missions via ESA’s ground stations in June 2021.
And as per the ESA, the first missions to benefit from this new support agreement will enable India look to Sun and Moon with the Aditya-L1 solar observatory and Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander and rover, both due to launch in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota Range (SDSC SHAR), India.
“Deep space communication is an essential part of any space mission. Ground stations keep spacecraft safely connected to Earth as they venture into the unknowns and risks of space. Without ground station support, it’s impossible to get any data from a spacecraft, to know how it’s doing, to know if it is safe or even to know where it is,” Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA Service Manager and ESA Liaison Officer for Isro, says.
Elaborating on Aditya-L1, ESA said the spacecraft will study a number of properties of Sun, such as the dynamics and origins of coronal mass ejections and its home — L1 or the first Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system — will allow it to orbit Sun at an almost constant distance from Earth, but without the planet ever eclipsing its view of our star.
“The spacecraft will always be in the same direction from Earth as the Sun. So, as Earth rotates, no single ground station will always be in view of Aditya-L1. Using a global station network like ESA’s is the best way to exchange data and commands with this spacecraft as often as possible.”
Stating that it would also extend support to Chandrayaan-3, the “Moon craft mission to study the lunar surface at Moon’s south pole, ESA said, the ESA’s Kourou antenna and the Goonhilly station will be added to NASA deep space stations supporting the mission and provide similar support to Chandrayaan-3 as they will to Aditya-L1.
“The ESA station support for both Aditya L1 and Chandrayaan-3 begins with the critical launch and early orbit phase and continues to the end of both missions, if required by Isro,” ESA said.
It added that it is one of the only agencies in the world with a network of deep space ground stations located across the planet. “The Estrack network lets it track and communicate with spacecraft anytime and in any direction, up to two billion kilometres from Earth,” it said.


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