Communicating with ESA’s spacecraft such as Mars Express, or SMART-1, Rosetta and Venus Express - yet to be launched - will be even easier and more effective when the new Cebreros ground station, near Avila (Spain), becomes operational in September 2005.
On 22 July, in Madrid, the Director General of ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain, the Spanish Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Fernando Díez Moreno, and the Spanish Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Mr Pedro Morenés Eulate, will sign an agreement between ESA and the Kingdom of Spain that will pave the way for the installation of a new high-performance deep-space tracking station in Cebreros.
Communicating with spacecraft over very long distances, probes that have to be controlled remotely, together with their on board instruments, at distances up to 900 million kilometres from Earth (more than six times the distance from Earth to the sun) require huge and powerful antennas.
Franco Bonacina | alfa
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