Tag Archives: nasa

ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) carries two Electra radios provided by NASA. This image shows a step in installation and testing of the first of the two radios, inside a clean room at Thales Alenia Space, in Cannes, France, in June 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/TAS

Update on TGO data relay

The first in-flight data-relay tests were conducted with the NASA rovers in November 2016; these were successful.

Strengthening the Mars Telecommunications Network credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA

Aced: TGO data relay capability

On 22 November 2016, the NASA radio system on ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which arrived at Mars in October, succeeded in its first test of receiving data transmitted from NASA Mars rovers, both Opportunity and Curiosity....

The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope for radio astronomical research at metre wavelengths. GMRT is a very versatile instrument for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby Solar system to the edge of observable Universe. Credit: National Centre for Radio Astrophysics - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Listening to an alien landing

We’re listening: Earth tracking the Schiaparelli lander 19 October Today’s blog post was contributed by Thomas Ormston, a spacecraft operations engineer working here at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Since its successful separation on Sunday, 16 October, Schiaparelli has...


NASA beams lasers at Moon, sets new data speed record

NASA this week set a new data-transmission record for space-based communication when it used a pulsed laser beam to send data to the moon, reaching a download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). The space agency also achieved an upload rate of 20 Mbps. The data were beamed from a ground station in New Mexico to the agency’s new Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) orbiter. Later this year, an ESA ground station will support the testing campaign, beaming optical data to LADEE from Tenerife, Spain.

Juno flyby seen from South Africa

Last night, Greg Roberts, of Pinelands, Cape Town, South Africa, was a very busy chap! Greg obtained a series of excellent images of NASA’s Juno spacecraft just before it made closest approach (CA) during Earth flyby; CA came at 19:21 UTC. The Jupiter probe whizzed past Earth at just 561km – lower than many Earth observation satellites and low enough to experience a tiny drag due to atmospheric friction. Greg’s images were acquired in the few minutes before CA. After sending them off to NASA, he kindly agreed to share his photos with the Rocket Science blog, and we’re delighted to present them here. Greg wrote: I got 23 images in all...

Space laser to prove increased broadband possible

You may have read in the ESA website in July (see Laser communications set for Moon mission) that the Agency is working with NASA on optical communications in space. Later this year, ESA’s Optical Ground Station in Tenerife, Spain, will join two NASA stations to communicate with the LADEE Moon mission to demonstrate the “readiness of optical communication for future missions to Mars or anywhere else in the Solar System.” How cool is that? 🙂 There was a nice report last week in the NASA website giving a few more details on the activity; extract and link are below. LADEE launch is set for tomorrow, 6 September, at 11:27 PM EDT (Saturday, 7...

NASA Fermi: Close Call with a Soviet Satellite

NASA scientists don’t often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite. But when Julie McEnery, the project scientist for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, checked her email on March 29, 2012, she found herself facing this precise situation. An excellent overview of how debris avoidance manoeuvres are planned and executed – and it’s a similar process at ESA!

ESA’s new tracking station gets ready in the Arge...

“Construction is done. Now, we’re in the handover phase, where ESA Engineering is passing the station facility over to ESA Operations and we’re verifying that it meets all specifications,” says ESA’s Roberto Maddè, manager of the construction project. ESA’s new 35m deep space tracking station, DSA 3, located near the town of Malargüe in Mendoza province, Argentina, will join two existing stations – DSA 1 and 2 – in New Norcia, Australia, and Cebreros, Spain, to provide global coverage for the Agency’s deep-space missions. First signals received from Mars Express With major construction complete, teams are preparing DSA 3 for formal inauguration late this year and entry in routine service early in 2013. The...