INPE Supporting Chinese Manned Mission

Hello reader!

It follows a note published on the day (06/15) in the website of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) stating that INPE supporting Chinese Manned Mission.

Duda Falcão

INPE Supporting Chinese Manned Mission

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Shenzhou-9, China's manned spacecraft to be launched this Saturday at 7:37 a.m. (6/16), will be supported by the Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE) in its first operations in orbit. The mission carries three astronauts including China's first female to go to Space, to carry out the docking with Tiangong-1 module, launched in September last year.

Support will be given by the tracking station in Alcântara, Maranhão, from the Center for Satellite Tracking and Control (Centro de Rastreio e Controle de Satélites - CRC) of INPE, which will transmit telecommands received in real time from the China’s Control Center to the spacecraft. Also it will carry out distance and Doppler measures for determining orbit and will receive telemetry data for monitoring Shenzhou-9 operating status.

CRC/INPE will track Shenzhou-9 during their first passages over the ground station in Alcântara. All data generated will be transmitted in real time to the China’s Control Center in Xi'an.

Activities might start at 10:13 a.m. on Saturday, time of the first passage of Shenzhou-9 over Alcântara station, and continue until 10:00 p.m. on Monday (6/18), when INPE participation ends.

In São José dos Campos, the control center of CRC/INPE will receive updated information from China about the spacecraft orbit and will generate data for each future passage over Alcântara, for example, the moment of entry and exit of visibility area and the pointing angles of the tracking station’s antenna.

In 2011, CRC/INPE also tracked Shenzhou-8, launched on October 31. The Chinese mission support was requested by the CLTC (China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control), which has long-standing partnership with INPE under CBERS Program (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite).


The Center for Satellite Tracking and Control (Centro de Controle e Rastreio de Satélites  - CRC) is dedicated to manage INPE satellites operations in orbit, or joint satellite of INPE and foreign institutions. The center is also able to support third parties’ space missions. It consists of the Satellite Control Center (Centro de Controle de Satélite - CCS) in São José dos Campos (SP), the Ground Station of Cuiabá (MT), Ground Station of Alcântara (MA), and the communication network that connects them.

Currently, while CRC/INPE supports international partners, also performs control and receiving of data from Brazilian satellite SCD-1 and 2, and is preparing to operate CBERS-3 (China-Brazil) and Amazônia-1 (Brazil).

Source: WebSite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)


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