Tag Archives: kourou

We can monitor in real time the progress of operations from anywhere! Credit: ESA/B. Sousa

Kitchen pantry operations

This being a Sunday, I was at home playing with my kids, initially oblivious of what was actually happening at ESOC.

Astro Rick’s (great) picture of Ariane 5 lift-off

This just posted by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio (@AstroRM) on board the ISS. Great picture! The contrail of the Ariane 5 from French Guiana as seen from the ISS just a few minutes ago pic.twitter.com/n13Bu6ADwl — Rick...

Video report from Kourou on L-1

ESA’s Gaia mission is set for lift off from Kourou to produce an unprecedented 3D map of our Galaxy by mapping, with exquisite precision, the position and motion of a billion stars. Lift off is currently scheduled for 10:12 CET, 19 December 2013, on top of a Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou. This highlight video provides background scenes from Kourou, showing final integration of the launcher, installation of the aerodynamic fairing, mating of the upper composite to the launcher and roll out to the launch pad. It also includes statements by Giuseppe Sarri, ESA’s Gaia Project Manager, and Timo Prusti, ESA’s Gaia Project Scientist.

European Space Agency to help China Moon: signal acquis...

The title reads: Ōuzhōu kōngjiānjú zhù Zhōngguó dēngyuè: Cǎijí rènwù xìnhào, according to Google Translate as updated by my Estrack colleague Erik Soerensen! He says this means: Europe (欧洲, Ōuzhōu) Space Agency (空间局, kōngjiānjú) help (助, zhù) China (中国, Zhōngguó) to go to the moon (登月, dēngyuè): Collect (采集, Cǎijí) job (任务 rènwù) signal (信号xìnhào) This is quite possibly the first time one of our ESA web articles has been translated into Madarin in its entirety and posted in a major web portal! This text is (well, appears to be) the Chinese version of Helping China to the Moon. Cool!

Update at 19:41 CET

Update from ESOC: We picked up signals from Chang’E-3 via Kourou station a bit earlier than planned, at 19:34:20 CET. Our Chinese colleagues confirm the mission is progressing extremely well, and in fact BACC mission control centre has just informed ESOC that the our network tracking support for today has been downgraded to ‘shadow’ tracking only. In other words, they are getting excellent contact via several other stations and don’t need our Kourou station (for now). ESA’s Kourou station is set again provide tracking support during the lunar cruise phase, starting again on 4 December, running through 5, 6 and 7 December.

Location of AOS – where Chang’E-3 will be w...

China’s Chang’E-3 will be above the centre of this map when our Kourou station receives first signals, planned for 18:36:59 UTC (19:36:59). The Moon mission will be above 242.2DEG E & 27.9DEG S. View Larger Map

Update at 18:04 CET

Kourou station now active; Estrack station engineering team on site already. Team will now configure Kourou station and conduct a data flow test with the Estrack Control Centre located at ESOC. BACC confirms launch set for 17:30 UTC; Kourou expects to acquire signals at 18:36:59 UT, when Chang’E-3 is 19,000 km from the antenna.

ESA support to China’s Chang’e-3 is ‘...

Did you read the ESA news on Friday: Helping China to the Moon? If so, you’ll know that later today, our Estrack network will provide crucial tracking support to the Chang’e-3 mission. You should read the full report, but here’s the main point: China’s Chang’e-3, named after the mythological goddess of the Moon, is scheduled for lift off on 1 December from the Xichang launch base in China’s Sichuan province on a journey to deposit a lander and a six-wheeled rover on the lunar surface. Immediately after liftoff, ESA’s station in Kourou, French Guiana, will start receiving signals from the mission and uploading commands on behalf of the Chinese control centre. ESA’s...