[FPSPACE] China helps track Helios
thomsona at flash.net
Sun Dec 19 13:33:37 EST 2004
[As usual, I'd be curious to know whether "tracking" means telemetry and
beacon reception, or use of radar. I suspect the former, but it would be
interesting to verify that. Also, what does "observation and control"
China helps track French satellite's orbit
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-19 23:44
Satellite observation and control networks in China and France yesterday
successfully tracked the orbiting of a satellite launched by the French
This is the first time that China's satellite observation and control
systems have provided tracking services for foreign satellites, said an
official from the Xi'an Satellite Control Centre yesterday in Northwest
China's Shaanxi Province, according to the Beijing-based China News Service.
According to Xinhua, France launched an Ariane rocket on Saturday, lifting
into orbit the new-generation of military satellites, Helios II A and six
micro satellites for different scientific purposes. However, the Chinese
official did not identify the concrete satellite for which the Xi'an centre
Three ground observation stations at the centre carried out relays of
information gathered from three circles of observation and control of the
satellite, said the official, who was anonymous in the report.
The use of international satellite observation and control networks is an
effective method for different countries to share data as well to make up
for scarce observation resources in each country, he said.
In November 2001, China connected its satellite observation system for the
first time to the French side's systems, the official said.
One observation station of the French side later conducted observation and
control support to the orbiting of the Shenzhou I and II spacecraft.
Later, China and Sweden successfully realized network connection on
satellite observation and control; and a long-term co-operation agreement
was then signed by the two sides on dealing with emerging issues, according
to the official.
In April of this year, an emergency problem occurred on the "Marine No 1"
satellite, and the centre in Xi'an conducting a rescue of the satellite
utilized an observation station in Sweden.
In May 2000, the centre selected one of its observation stations to conduct
a connection test as a node of French observation system, officials said.
The success of the test proved that China's space flight observation and
control system could meet the requirements for observation and control for
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