European envoys visit European Space Agency in Australia

BYYasir Rehman


A delegation of senior European diplomats based in Canberra visited the European Space Agency’s all-important deep space tracking station in rural Western Australia.

The group, which included eight Ambassadors and a High Commissioner, explored the New Norcia facility which is two hours north of Perth, said a statement issued on Tuesday from the Office of the Delegation of the European Union to Australia.

The facility includes a 35m telescope which provides crucial coverage of lift-offs from the ESA’s space facility in French Guiana.

The delegation learned the New Norcia operations are remotely controlled from Germany; that comets are known as ‘dirty snowballs’; and that ESA wants to build another 35m telescope at the site in conjunction with the newly formed Australian Space Agency.

The European Space Agency tracking station in New Norcia, which beamed in the very first images of Europe’s very first mission to Mercury a week prior. The visit was the final stop on a 3-day action-packed visit to West Australia, covering the topics of trade, innovation, investment, culture and heritage.

The European envoys during their visit dined and discussed with business and political leaders, including WA Premier Mark McGowan and Governor Kim Beazley.