Last week it was announced that CSIRO will be taking on the
maintenance and operational support for the ESA's New Norcia tracking
station. The facility at New Norcia, 130km north-east of Perth, has
been in operation since 2003, but this is the first time that an
Australian organisation has been selected to support day-to-day
operations at the station. New Norcia is one of three stations in
ESA's Estrack network, with the others located in Spain, and
Argentina, which are controlled by a command centre in Darmstadt
One of the spacecraft that New Norcia is tracking is the BepiColombo
mission to Mercury. A joint project by the European Space Agency (ESA)
and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the spacecraft was launched
in October this year and will reach the closest planet to the Sun in 2025.
More details are contained in
this CSIRO blog.
(Image credit: ESA/S. Marti)