From ESA: “Acquiring signals”

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European Space Agency

13 Oct 2017

Ground station in Kiruna, Sweden
Credits: ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

On Friday, 13 October, Europe’s Sentinel-5P Earth observation mission will be lofted into space on a Russian rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, with liftoff set for 09:27:30 GMT (11:27:30 CEST).

ESA Sentinal 5P satellite

About 93 minutes later, at around 11:00 GMT, the satellite – having separated from the rocket and opened its solar panels – will transmit its first signals.

The transmission will indicate that all has gone well with the launch and that the satellite is ready to receive instructions.

On Earth, engineers at the ground station in Kiruna, Sweden will be watching intently, with their 15 m-diameter antenna pointing at the horizon, ready to catch Sentinel-5P’s signal as it rises into the sky over the country.

At the same time, 2100 km to the south, the team at ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, will also be watching closely, because ‘acquisition of signal’ will mark the moment they assume control, sending commands and downlinking data to check on the satellite’s health and status.

The Kiruna station is part of ESA’s global network, and it routinely supports multiple missions such as CryoSat, Integral, the Swarm trio and Sentinel.

It is located at Salmijärvi, 38 km east of Kiruna, in northern Sweden.

More information


Kiruna station

See the full article here .

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The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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