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Copernical Team

Copernical Team

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Satnav from Earth to the moon
Credit: SSTL

The first satnav receiver designed to operate in lunar orbit has been delivered to satellite maker Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in the UK for integration aboard the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft.

The complete Navigation payload seen here includes a four helix antenna (left, in the glass box) developed by MDA in Canada, plus the NaviMoon satnav receiver from Swiss company SpacePNT, and the low noise amplifier developed by EECL in the UK, who also undertook the manufacturing and the environmental test campaign for both the satnav receiver and amplifier.

The payload is designed to boost and process faint terrestrial Global Navigation Satellite Signal (GNSS) signals from more than 400 000 km away, harnessing advanced processing and algorithms to fix the spacecraft's position, velocity and timing in lunar orbit in real time.

It is complemented by a lunar Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) (right), developed by NASA under agreement with ESA, composed of 48 mirrored retro-reflectors that will enable centimeter-scale laser ranging of the spacecraft as it orbits the moon, to authenticate the satnav receiver position fixes during the experiment.

Due to be launched in late 2025, SSTL's Lunar Pathfinder mission will serve as a telecommunications relay satellite for future missions to the moon, to serve assets on both the nearside and farside, orbiting in an 'elliptical lunar frozen orbit' for prolonged coverage over the South Pole—a particular focus for future exploration.

Friday, 09 June 2023 12:10

Week in images: 05-09 June 2023

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Diving into practice

Week in images: 05-09 June 2023

Discover our week through the lens

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Video: 00:11:18

Imagine you are singing in a choir. You are doing your best, just like everybody else. Suddenly, somebody turns to you and points out that you are not singing the right note. If you are told off in a harsh way, you may feel bad about it, and if this happens too often you might not only feel upset about the choir but might even leave it for good. Eventually, the whole choir could end if everybody just leaves.

It is the duty of the choir conductor (the ESA team head) to be able to address every single situation in the right way,

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The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Cook Strait, which separates New Zealand's North and South Islands. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Cook Strait, which separates New Zealand's North and South Islands.
Friday, 09 June 2023 06:00

Diving into practice

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Diving into practice Image: Diving into practice
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from left to right in front: Rosemary Coogan, Sophie Adenot  and Raphaël Liégeois Image: from left to right in front: Rosemary Coogan, Sophie Adenot and Raphaël Liégeois
Friday, 09 June 2023 06:45

Satnav from Earth to the Moon

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Satnav from Earth to the Moon Image: Satnav from Earth to the Moon
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Washington DC (UPI) Jun 09, 2023
A British Columbia man said he is trying to determine whether an object that splashed down in his backyard pool was a meteorite. Justin Broad said he was outside his home in Delta earlier this week when something fell from above and splashed into his pool. He said the object, which he suspects may have been a meteorite, was slightly disintegrating in the water. "It didn't cloud
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Beijing (XNA) Jun 09, 2023
China on Wednesday launched a Lijian-1 Y2 carrier rocket with 26 satellites onboard. The rocket blasted off at 12:10 p.m. (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, and sent a group of experiment satellites into the planned orbits. The satellites will be mainly used for technology verification and commercial remote sensing information services.
Friday, 09 June 2023 06:47

Rocket launches with record payload

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Beijing (XNA) Jun 09, 2023
China launched a ZK 1A carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China, transporting 26 satellites into space and setting a new record for the most spacecraft launched by a single Chinese rocket. The 30-meter, solid-propellant rocket blasted off at 12:10 pm and soon placed the satellites into preset orbits, including the Shiyan 24A and 24B experimental satelli
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