World’s first commercial deep-space communications antenna opens in UK

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GHY-6, the world’s first privately owned deep-space communications antenna

Nathanial Bradford © Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd

The world’s first commercial deep-space communications antenna conducted its first operational work on 11 July, receiving images from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission. The pictures – which showed a thin Martian crescent and the cratered, ochre disc of the planet – were downlinked via the antenna designated “GHY-6” located at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall, in the south-west UK.

The 32-metre-wide antenna, which received the call from Mars, was built in 1985. It was formerly used for telecommunications work with …

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