Chinese Deep Space Network

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The Chinese Deep Space Network is a network of large antennas and communication facilities that supports the lunar and interplanetary spacecraft missions of China is managed by the China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General (CLTC).[1][2] The network was first needed for the lunar mission Chang'e 1,[3][4] but will be used to support future missions to the moon and Mars. Similar networks are run by the USA, Russia, Europe, Japan, and India.

Network[edit]

As of 2007, the network consisted of:

  • Ground control stations in Kashgar and Qingdao (in the Shandong province).
  • 18 meter antennas in Qingdao and Kashgar
  • A 50-meter antenna at Miyun (~116°E), near Beijing.
  • A 40-meter antenna in Yunnan (~101°E).

Planned improvements by 2012, to support Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 4, include:[5]

  • Upgrades to the ground facilities at Kashgar and Qingdao, and a deep-space ground control station at Jiamusi.
  • A new 35-meter antenna at the Kashgar station.
  • A 64-meter antenna in Jiamusi. (~130°E)

By 2016, the intent is to construct an additional ground station in South America, in the Neuquen province of Argentina (~70°W), with a 50 million-dollar investment. The facility, a part of China's Lunar Exploration Program.[6]

Uses[edit]

The network was used to track Chang'e 2, first to L2[7] and then to asteroid Toutatis.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nti.org/learn/facilities/124/ China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General (CLTC)
  2. ^ http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1725382-preocupa-el-eventual-uso-militar-de-una-estacion-china-en-neuquen Preocupa el eventual uso militar de un área espacial de China en el Sur
  3. ^ Renjiang Xie (February 14, 2007). "Gearing up for Chang'e". 
  4. ^ Jianguo, Yan; Ping, Jing-Song; Li, Fei (13 July 2008). Precise orbit determination of Smart-1 and Chang'E-1. 37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. 
  5. ^ The Ministry of Science and Technology, People's Republic of China (January 10, 2011). "CHINA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER" (PDF). 
  6. ^ http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-06/30/c_134368151.htm Chinese space station is "for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes": Argentine gov't
  7. ^ "China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 sends data from 1.7 mln km away". 
  8. ^ Bill Gray (25 Aug 2012). "Chang'e 2: The Full Story".