Proba-3 satellites in formation
StarTiger-2 external coronagraph demonstrator showing artificial eclipse technique used for Proba-3
Proba-3 satellites with the leading one forming an artificial eclipse of the Sun
Proba-3 mission orbit
The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to bring the sort of precision normally associated with Swiss watch making to satellite navigation. When it launches in 2017, ESA’s Proba-3 mission will incorporate the first satellite pair capable of flying in formation to within a tolerance of a millimeter to one another. It's part of a demonstration technology that could one day be used to build space telescopes using formation-flying satellites as a “rigid structure” that would be impossibly large to achieve in a single spacecraft.
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