The first space mission that it is providing support for is the Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander mission, set to be launched on July 14.
Satellite and space communications company Goonhilly Earth Station has announced its crucial support for three upcoming lunar and deep space missions. Following on from their success in supporting the Artemis-I mission, these missions, in collaboration with esteemed organisations such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the European Space Agency (ESA), and Intuitive Machines, further demonstrate Goonhilly’s existing and growing capabilities at a time when the business is expanding its footprint into other locations around the world.
The first two missions, undertaken by ISRO, are poised to revolutionise the understanding of celestial bodies. Goonhilly Earth Station will play an integral role in these endeavours. For Chandrayaan-3, a lunar lander mission which is scheduled to launch on July 14, 2023, Goonhilly and 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.
Goonhillys support for these missions is being delivered in partnership with the European Space Agency, further solidifying its role in the global space community. Goonhillys 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 Goonhillys GHY-6, will offer support to both the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions. These antennas will diligently track the spacecraft, precisely determine their locations during critical stages, facilitate command transmission, and receive crucial telemetry and scientific data which will be forwarded to ESAs ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, before being sent on to ISRO for analysis.
In the case of the Chandrayaan-3 Moon craft, Goonhillys GHY-6 antenna will be working alongside ESAs Kourou antenna in French Guiana to provide this mission support, complementing ISROs own stations and NASAs Deep Space Network.
Alongside the support for these ISRO missions, Goonhilly Earth Station will be involved with supporting Houston, Texas-based Intuitive Machines’ first mission to the Moon, IM-1, which aims to be the worlds first commercial lunar landing. Goonhilly will extend its expertise during the cruise, lunar orbit, and on-surface operations. Goonhilly has already been part of validating the lunar telemetry and tracking capabilities – the complete lunar communications solution required for this mission – by successfully acquiring and tracking NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in an exercise with Intuitive Machines personnel.
Matt Cosby, CTO, Goonhilly Earth Station, 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.”