Goonhilly Earth Station is set to play a key role in three upcoming lunar and deep space missions.
The first two missions, undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), are poised to further our understanding of celestial bodies. Chandrayaan-3 is an ambitious lunar lander mission which is scheduled to launch today (July 14). Goonhilly and the European Space Agency (ESA) will provide key support during the cruise, lunar orbit, and on-surface operations phases.
Goonhilly’s involvement with the Aditya-L1 solar observatory mission will also encompass vital assistance during the cruise and operations phases.
Goonhilly’s support for these missions is being delivered in partnership with ESA. Goonhilly’s 32m antenna is the only commercial deep space antenna that is part of ESA’s network of deep space ground stations located across the globe.
ESA’s deep-space communication antennas, supplemented by Goonhilly’s GHY-6, will offer support to both the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions. These antennas will track the spacecraft, determine their locations during critical stages, facilitate command transmission, and receive crucial telemetry and scientific data.
In the case of the Chandrayaan-3 ‘Moon craft’, Goonhilly’s GHY-6 antenna will be working alongside ESA’s Kourou antenna in French Guiana to provide this mission support.
Alongside the support for these ISRO missions, Goonhilly Earth Station will also be involved with supporting Houston -based Intuitive Machines’ first mission to the Moon, IM-1, which aims to be the world’s first commercial lunar landing.
Director of space engineering at Goonhilly, Matt Cosy, said: “The collaborations with ISRO, ESA, and Intuitive Machines exemplify our commitment to advancing space exploration and facilitating global scientific achievements.
“As we witness an unprecedented surge in space missions and the emergence of new players in the market, Goonhilly is proud to provide the critical communications capacity needed to support this new era of space exploration. Our international expansion reinforces our dedication to meeting the growing demands of the space industry and underscores our role as pioneers in space commercialisation.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of driving the future of space communications and enabling the success of these transformative missions.”