Goonhilly Earth Station Continues to Demonstrate UK’s Global Leadership in Commercial Space Communications

Goonhilly Earth Station Continues to Demonstrate UK’s Global Leadership in Commercial Space Communications

Goonhilly Earth Station has announced its crucial support for three upcoming lunar and deep space missions, showcasing its unparalleled capabilities as the only commercial deep space ground station in the world.

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 our understanding of celestial bodies. Goonhilly Earth Station will play an integral role in these groundbreaking endeavours. For Chandrayaan-3, an ambitious lunar lander mission which is scheduled to launch on the 14th of July 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.

Goonhilly’s support for these missions is being delivered in partnership with the European Space Agency, further solidifying its pivotal role in the global space community. 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 indispensable 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 ESA’s ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, before being sent on to ISRO for analysis.

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, complementing ISRO’s own stations and NASA’s 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 world’s first commercial lunar landing. Underscoring its position at the forefront of space commercialisation, 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. This partnership exemplifies Goonhilly’s dedication to enabling the success of emerging space enterprises and facilitating the growth of the global space industry.

Goonhilly Earth Station’s role in these transformative missions highlights the increasing demand for space communication infrastructure and the critical need for the company’s recently announced international expansion. As the number of space missions surges, along with the emergence of new players in the market, Goonhilly is uniquely positioned to address the shortage of communications capacity. Through its unwavering support of these three missions, Goonhilly is spearheading a new era of space exploration and reinforcing its status as the world’s leading commercial deep space communications service provider.

Furthermore, Goonhilly’s pioneering efforts in space commercialisation have set a new standard in the industry. As the first commercial entity to offer lunar and deep space communication services, Goonhilly continues to break barriers and redefine the possibilities of space research and exploration. With its ongoing international expansion, Goonhilly will further enhance its capabilities, allowing customers’ spacecraft to benefit from extended visibility on its network.

Matt Cosby, CTO, Goonhilly Earth Station:

“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.”

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