Malargüe station inauguration
ESA’s new deep-space tracking station at Malargüe, Argentina, was inaugurated on Tuesday in the presence of Julio de Vido, Argentina’s Minister of Federal Planning, Services and Public Investment, Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, and Alvaro Giménez Cañete, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
Once in regular service early in 2013, Malargüe station will support ESA science missions such as Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta and, in the future, Gaia, BepiColombo, ExoMars, Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Juice.
The agreement to build and exploit the station was signed with Argentina on 16 November 2009, for a duration of 50 years. ESA will make 10% of the antenna time available to Argentina for their national scientific projects. Argentina’s Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) is responsible for coordinating Argentinian use of the station.