ESA transmits first-ever telecommands to Chinese satellite

Nov 01, 2007
ESA transmits first-ever telecommands to Chinese satellite
The ESA ground station at Maspalomas, Canary Islands, is located in the southern part of the Gran Canaria island on the campus of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The antenna is operated by INTA in cooperation with Ingenieria y Servicios Aerospatiales (INSA).

For the first time, ESA tracking stations have transmitted telecommands to a Chinese satellite. This morning at 07:15 CET (06:15 UTC), China's mission control reported that commands transmitted from Maspalomas station had been successfully received by the Chang'e-1 Moon mission.

ESA ground tracking support to China's Chang'e-1 successfully started on 1 November 2007 at 04:35 CET (03:35 UTC) with the first receipt of telemetry signals from the Chinese mission at ESA's 35m deep-space station at New Norcia, Australia.

Two hours and 39 minutes later, the first telecommands to Chang'e-1 were transmitted via ESA's 15m station in Maspalomas, Spain, when the Chinese satellite was nearly 200 000 km from Maspalomas station. An hour later, the ESA station in Kourou, French Guiana, also successfully received telemetry and transmitted commands to Chang'e-1.

New Norcia, Maspalomas and Kourou stations are part of ESA's ESTRACK ground station network, and are remotely controlled from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany.

The successful communications mark a major milestone as this is the first time a telecommand to a Chinese spacecraft has been transmitted from an ESA station. In addition to receipt of telemetry and transmission of telecommands, the Maspalomas and Kourou stations also performed ranging and Doppler measurements used to determine the spacecraft's location and direction.

"The support began as planned and without any problems. We were confident it would work given the extensive preparations and intensive testing we did in close cooperation with the Chinese," said Erik Soerensen, Head of the System Requirements and Validation Section at ESOC.

Source: ESA

Explore further: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover 'dead' (Update)

Feb 12, 2014

China's troubled Jade Rabbit lunar rover has died on the surface of the moon, state media reported Wednesday, in a major setback for the country's ambitious space programme just weeks after its much-celebrated ...

China successfully soft-lands probe on the moon

Dec 14, 2013

China on Saturday successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually ...

Syria, China worst for online spying, RSF reports

Mar 12, 2013

Syria, China, Iran, Bahrain and Vietnam are flagrantly spying online, media watchdog RSF said Tuesday, urging controls on the export of Internet surveillance tools to regimes clamping down on dissent.

143 km: Physicists break quantum teleportation distance

Sep 05, 2012

Physicists at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have achieved quantum teleportation over a record distance of 143 km. The experiment is a major step towards satellite-based quantum ...

How China may be the next to land on the moon

Aug 27, 2012

Neil Armstrong's 1969 lunar landing marked a pinnacle of US technological achievement, defining what many saw as the American century, but the next person to set foot on the moon will likely be Chinese.

Recommended for you

Study of atmospheric 'froth' may help GPS communications

Feb 27, 2015

When you don't know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance. You may not realize that, especially at ...

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

Feb 27, 2015

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.