Goonhilly To Provide Comms For Artemis 1 Mission

30th Aug 2022
Goonhilly To Provide Comms For Artemis 1 Mission

NASA’s Artemis 1 Mission is now set to launch as early as 2nd September. Cornwall’s Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd will be providing communications support for the launch, whenever it does happen.

Goonhilly has long played a vital role in space communciations

Goonhilly provides the only commercial deep space ground station services in the world. The site has a long and storied history. In 1969, the site distributed live satellite feeds around the world of the Apollo Moon landing.

The site remains relevant today with the increasing commercialization of the space industry. Goonhilly already plays a pivotal role in the communication and tracking support for orbital and deep space space missions. They will work alongside both government space agencies and private companies.

Over the past year, Goonhilly has supported ESA’s Integral, Gaia, and Mars Express missions. The company will now strengthen the UK’s position as a global space power by contributing to NASA’s Artemis programme.

Goonhilly’s role in NASA’s Artemis 1 Mission 

Artemis 1 is going to send an uncrewed Orion capsule into orbit, around the Moon, and then back. The purpose of this is to test procedures and systems ahead of a crewed flight in 2024. 

Goonhilly will track the capsule and demonstrate their capability of providing future support of crewed Nasa missions, not only to the moon but beyond. 

Signals from the spacecraft will be received by the GHY-6 deep space antenna.

The CEO at Goonhilly Earth Station, Ian Jones, said the following:

“Being asked to participate in this landmark NASA mission as one of the key ground stations is an immense privilege for all of us at Goonhilly. 

Both NASA and ESA are moving towards a commercial model for lunar communications and Goonhilly is the world’s only facility that is set up, qualified and ready to provide this service.

As well as the excitement of returning humans to the moon, this new chapter demonstrates the validity of the commercial business model developed at Goonhilly.” 

NASA scrubbed the Artemis 1 mission with 40 minutes left before lift-off on 29th August due to a fuel line issue. Artemis could lift off as early as 2nd September.

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