Galileo will help Lunar Pathfinder navigate around Moon

Discussion related to the European Union satellite navigation system
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Galileo will help Lunar Pathfinder navigate around Moon

Unread post by GPSrChive »

Europe’s Lunar Pathfinder mission to the Moon will carry an advanced satellite navigation receiver to perform the first satellite navigation positioning fix in lunar orbit. The experimental payload marks a preliminary step in an ambitious European Space Agency (ESA) plan to expand reliable satnav coverage - as well as communication links - to explorers around and ultimately on the Moon during this decade.

Just like people or cars on the ground, satellites in low-Earth orbit rely heavily on satnav signals to determine their orbital position, and since ESA proved higher orbit positioning was possible, a growing number of satellites in geostationary orbit today employ satnav receivers.

But geostationary orbit is 35,786 km up, while the Moon is more than ten times further away, at an average distance of 384 000 km. In 2019 however, NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission acquired GPS signals to perform a fix and determine its orbit from 187,166 km away, close to halfway the Earth-Moon distance.

Full Story: gpsworld
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