ESA’s new tracking station in Malargüe, Argentina, will be inaugurated on 18 December 2012 and enter service early in 2013. The massive, 35 m-diameter antenna will capture precious scientific data from missions voyaging hundreds of millions of kilometres into our Solar System.
The station is located in Malargüe, Argentina, 1200 km west of Buenos Aires. Joining DSA 1 in New Norcia, Australia, and DSA 2 in Cebreros, Spain, DSA 3 Malargüe is the final leg in ESA’s global coverage for deep-space probes, including today’s Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Herschel and Planck, and, in the future, Gaia, BepiColombo, ExoMars, Solar Orbiter and Juice.
The agreement to build and exploit the station was signed with Argentina on 16 November 2009, for a planned duration of 50 years. The agreement contains benefits, facilities and services to be provided by Argentina. In exchange, ESA will make available to Argentina 10% of the antenna time for their national scientific projects. Argentina's Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) is responsible for coordinating the use of the 10% of antenna time as provided in the agreement.