Thursday, April 2, 2020

China Captures Signals Sent by a USA Spacecraft to Test its Ground Station Capability

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Nick Nesser
Nick Nesser
Born in Florida, brought up in New York, Nick Nesser is known as the best author for the Space section of The News Recorder. Also, he is best known for his research on astronomy and his love for the satellites.

Every aspiring superpower wants to rule the space. Who can forget the space battle between the United States of America and the Soviet Union? The current scenarios are gradually progressing in the same direction. Recently, reports came out that China captured the signals sent from the Juno probe. NASA sent Juno probe, and currently orbiting Jupiter. Reports claim that the action taken by China is to test the capabilities of its ground stations. As the country is quite ambitious about space exploration, the future seems uncertain. 

Scientists who were involved in tracking, telemetry, and command successfully determined the Doppler frequency of the spacecraft by listening to the signal sent by Juno. They also discovered the orbit where the spacecraft was revolving around the Jupiter.

Why Does China Did This?

As China has a high aspiration in space exploration, the country is testing its ground station potential. China is all set to start its independent interplanetary mission from 2020. The country’s first Mars mission is scheduled in 2020, whereas China will send a probe to Jupiter in around 2030. 

Such kind of missions required a complicated procedure to communicate with the spacecraft over millions of kilometers away. As a result, sending the signal to a satellite and receiving weak messages sent by the aircraft becomes exceptionally crucial. To track the signals from Juno, China set up a dish, having a diameter of 35 meters at Kashi in Xinjiang.

All the information about the test was revealed by a paper published in a Chinese publication called the Journal of Deep Space Exploration. The writers of the paper are associated with various government projects such as the National Astronomical Observatories, Beijing Aerospace Control Center, and many other centers across the country. 

The report suggests that the European Space Agency helped China to track the signal. The United States has not responded to development yet. Experts appreciate the improvement shown by Chinese scientists over the years. 

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