Nice update in the ESA website today on Santa Maria station’s involvement with the ATV launch. We’ll have a post ready for you shortly that explains how ESA’s Perth station will support ATV. More information on both stations in ESA’s ESTRACK pages here. – DGS
When ATV Johannes Kepler is lofted into space on 15 February, an ESA tracking station on Portugal’s Santa Maria island will watch closely, gathering crucial data as Ariane 5 streaks overhead.
In 2008, the Santa Maria station, located five kilometres from the town of Vila do Porto on the Portuguese island of Santa Maria, in the Azores, became the latest station to join ESA’s global ESTRACK tracking network. Santa Maria’s 5.5 m-diameter antenna provides crucial tracking services for Ariane 5 rockets as they boost Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) into orbit.