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ESA Spacecraft Can Now Be Tracked Through Public Website

The spacecraft launch whether into the low Earth orbit or deep into space is found to depend on a network of antennas and ground stations located around the globe. ESTRACK is a station that supports multiple missions and to help people collect information such as the communication between spacecraft and the ground antennas. The people can know more about the ESA’s group of explorers who are working on the planetary bodies, the Solar System, and other celestial bodies in the deep space. The antennas and dishes present on the ground stations are at work 24×7 to gather all the important data captured from space and deliver various commands to the mission controls.

The data is captured using these key terms:

  • AOS: It means acquisition of signal and it is the time spacecraft begins to become visible to the ground station and the collection of telemetry begins.
  • LOS: At the end of a pass the loss of signal begins and it is the moment when a spacecraft disappears from site and the telemetry is no longer available at the ground station.
  • MNT: anticipatory, extrapolative, or remedial maintenance.
  • Pass: This is the time a satellite and ground station is in contact and visible from the antenna and ground station point of view.
  • Round Trip Light Time (RTLT): The time a signal takes to travel from ground station to the spacecraft and back again. The distance of the spacecraft can be well defined using RTLT.
  • Successful contact: This means the signal has been sent successfully from the ground station to the spacecraft or vice versa as planned.
  • Percentages: It tells about the exact time when the pass and contact is successful.
  • The traffic-light color system can help understand the performance level of the network wherein green signals perfect contact, yellow suggests near-perfect contact, and red signals issues in contact.
  • Telemetry—Telemetry is the collection of measurements and data gathered by a spacecraft.

In order to understand the ESA mission better and their contact with the ground stations, the click on the Select Mission can help disclose all the details. On the parallel note, the astronomers have found BepiColombo to be in contact with the New Norcia station (NNO) in Australia for a couple of hours. The data showed BepiColombo to be 39.5 million km away from home.

Mildred Tunney
Content Writer At Carib World News

Due to her extreme passion for galaxies, planets, stars, and comets, Mildred chose astronomy as a career path and pursued M.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy Degree, and no need to tell, she was the top ranker in her college. Although the subject Mildred selected is a bit complicated, her quality of being detail-oriented has always helped her to make it easy and appealing for common people reading her news. It’s been 3 years now Mildred is active in this field. Along with her exceptional managerial and interpersonal skills, her quality of being down-to-earth has always attracted Carib World News team members the most.

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