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17th of December 2018
New Norcia tracking station
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 Germany. 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)

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