Saturday, January 30, 2016

Deep Space Exploration Infrastructure

The Solar System Exploration History interactive timeline has been updated to version 1.3.18. I`ve decided to share the plentitude of data contained in the timeline in different forms, starting here with a global map of ground based space exploration assets for missions beyond Earth orbit. Specifically those assets that are required for spacecraft operations, including launch centers with their possible launch azimuths, deep space antennae, landing zones for returning missions and several mission control centers, as far as I could find them.

I think the icons are pretty much self-explanatory. There are some landing zone symbols without any name associated, those are the approximate regions where missions touched down in the field or at sea, outside any particular facility. That concerns the US Apollo missions in the Pacific and the Soviet Luna/Zond return missions in Kazakhstan/Siberia.

Here are links to the official websites of all the mentioned facilities, as far as I could find any, to other sources like Wikipedia if not.

Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS)
Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS)
Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR)
Space Flight Operations Facility (JPL), Pasadena, Ca (SFOF)
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md (GSFC)
Deep Space Network (DSN)
Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex (GDSCC)
Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC)
Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex (MDSCC)
ESA Europe
Guiana Space Centre (CSG)
European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt (ESOC)
European Space Tracking Network, Darmstadt (ESTRACK)
Deep Space Antenna 1, New Norica (DSA 1)
Deep Space Antenna 2, Cebreros (DSA 2)
Deep Space Antenna 3, Malagüe (DSA 3)
Roscosmos Russia
Baikonur Cosmodrome (космодром Байконур)
Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Космодром Плесецк)
Vostochny Cosmodrome (Космодром Восточный)
Yasny Cosmodrome (космодром Я́сный)
RKA Mission Control Center, Korolev (TsUP, Центр управления полётами)
Russian Deep Space Network (Восточный центр дальней космической связи)
ISRO India
Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC, सतीश धवन अंतरिक्ष केंद्र)
ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network, Bangalore (ISTRACK, इस्रो टेलिमेट्री, ट्रॅकिंग अॅन्ड कमांड नेटवर्क)
Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN)
CNSA China
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC, 酒泉卫星发射中心)
Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC, 太原卫星发射中心)
Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC, 西昌卫星发射中心)
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC, 文昌卫星发射中心)
Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center (BACCC, 北京航天指挥控制中心)
Chinese Deep Space Network (中國深空網路)
JAXA Japan Uchinoura Space Center (USC, 内之浦宇宙空間観測所)
Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC, 種子島宇宙センター)
Woomera Test Range (WTR, Australia)
Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC, 筑波宇宙センター)
Usuda Deep Space Center (UDSC, 臼田宇宙空間観測所)


  1. Olaf, great map you made. May I suggest one addition to the long list of ground based space exploration assets? In the Netherlands we have ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre. That is the European Space Agency's main technology development and test centre for spacecraft and space technology in Noordwijk. See here for more info:

  2. Thanks Arie for the feedback! I deliberately limited the scope of this map to spacecraft operations assets, since including development/research would increase the number of data points considerably, and therefore decrease the maps readability. So for the time being it only features - apart from launch, landing and communications facilities - mission control centers for missions beyond Earth orbit. For ESA, that is only ESOC, afaik.

    Provided enough interest, I'd be willing to make an interactive zoomable map with *all the* space exploration assets. Suggestions are welcome!

  3. I've updated the map to reflect my previous comment