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The December 2012 inauguration of a new satellite tracking station at Malargüe, Argentina, marks the completion of the European Space Agency’s trio of deep-space antenna (DSA) stations and confirms ESA as one of the world’s most technologically advanced space organisations.
Joining DSA 1, New Norcia, Australia, and DSA 2, Cebreros, Spain, DSA 3 Malargüe provides the final leg in 360° circumferential coverage for deep-space probes, typically operating well beyond 2 million km from Earth, where communications require highly accurate mechanical pointing and calibration.
The three DSA stations are equipped with 35 m-diameter parabolic dishes that provide the increased range and data transmission speed required for present and future exploration missions, such as Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Herschel, Planck, Gaia, Euclid, BepiColombo, Solar Orbiter and Juice. ((NOTE: Fonts in downloadable PDF are correct; display in SlideShare will be fixed shortly.))