Breaking News: European Space Agency Joins Forces with India for Chandrayaan-3 Mission

European Space Agency to Track India's Chandrayaan-3 Mission

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it will track India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft and provide support for future missions. The ESA will also assist the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with tracking for their upcoming interplanetary mission called the Sun Mission-Aditya L1, which is scheduled for launch in August 2023. Additionally, discussions are ongoing between ESA and ISRO regarding tracking support for India’s first human space mission, Gaganyaan.

European Space Agency to Track India's Chandrayaan-3 Mission
European Space Agency to Track India’s Chandrayaan-3 Mission

Ground stations play a crucial role in deep space missions as they enable communication and data transmission between operators on Earth and spacecraft. While ISRO operates its own 32-meter deep space tracking station in India, there are times when the spacecraft is outside the antenna’s range. To overcome this, ISRO will receive support from partner organizations’ stations, including ESA’s Estrack network of deep space stations. ESA’s 15-meter antenna in Kourou, French Guiana, will track Chandrayaan-3 in the initial days after launch to ensure its successful journey to the Moon. As the spacecraft moves away from Earth, tracking support will be coordinated with the 32-meter antenna operated by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd in the UK. Goonhilly will specifically support Chandrayaan-3’s propulsion and lander modules, including the crucial lunar surface operations phase.

Data and telemetry received from Chandrayaan-3 via Kourou and Goonhilly will be forwarded to ESA’s ESOC mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany, and then sent to ISRO for analysis. The support from ESA’s European stations, alongside NASA’s Deep Space Network and ISRO’s own stations, will ensure continuous monitoring of the spacecraft. The ESA will also extend its support to ISRO’s Aditya-L1 solar observatory mission by providing tracking activities from Kourou and Goonhilly, as well as utilizing its three 35-meter deep space antennas located in Australia, Argentina, and Spain.


  The European Space Agency (ESA) will be tracking India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, which is scheduled to launch on July 14, 2023. The ESA will use its ground stations to track the spacecraft’s progress and health. This collaboration is a testament to the strong relationship between the ESA and ISRO, and it will help to ensure the success of Chandrayaan-3.

Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third lunar exploration mission. The spacecraft will carry a lander and a rover, which will be deployed on the surface of the Moon. The lander will collect data about the lunar surface, while the rover will explore the area around the landing site.

The ESA’s ground stations will be used to track the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft’s trajectory and to monitor its health. The ESA will also provide data analysis and support to the ISRO team.

This collaboration between the ESA and ISRO is a significant milestone in the history of space exploration. It demonstrates the willingness of two space agencies to work together to achieve common goals. The success of Chandrayaan-3 will be a testament to the strength of this partnership.

In addition to tracking activities, ESA’s Flight Dynamics experts have been involved in assisting ISRO with the validation of the “orbit determination” software for the Aditya-L1 mission. This software is crucial for accurately determining the spacecraft’s position and calibrating its scientific instruments. Furthermore, discussions are underway between ESA and ISRO regarding potential ground station support for Gaganyaan, India’s first human spaceflight program.

Overall, the collaboration between ESA and ISRO not only reduces costs but also promotes international cooperation in space exploration and mission support.

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