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Three different launch vehicles operate from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. ESA’s downrange telemetry station network is an essential part of every mission and feeds back information about the conditions onboard the launcher, its performance, trajectory and the injection of the satellites into space. This is crucial information for engineers, customers and flight specialists.
ESA’s cooperation with Gabon in tracking and telemetry services dates back to 1986 with the installation of the Libreville downrange station in N’Koltang for Ariane launches, which is operated by France’s CNES space agency on behalf of ESA.
The network includes stations in Galliot (French Guiana), Natal (Brazil), Ascension Island (UK) in the South Atlantic Ocean, Libreville (Gabon) and Malindi (Kenya).
For the IXV mission, several engineers from ESA have augmented the local team. From left to right: Michel Duverger (Libreville Team), Juan Vizcaya, Giuseppe Abate, Diego Bussi, Massimiliano Branca (IXV Team), Thierry Martins (Libreville Team) and Mario Hucteau (Libreville Station Manager).