At the end of The Hill's article Chinese official unveils future moon mission plans including possible lunar base it says:

The most recent Chang'e 5 probe was assisted by the European Space Agency, as well as Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan, which work with China monitoring and communicating with its space vessel.

Question: I can imagine that ESA's space communications network was helpful, but how did Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan actually assist China with monitoring and communicating with Chang'e 5?

The Hill is not a go-to source for space news, so perhaps this just means that those countries have leased land on which China has placed an antenna?



2 Answers 2


There is a Chinese run ground station in Swakopmund, Namibia.

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Image source

This station is part of the "Chinese Tracking, Telemetry, Command and Communications System", which has similar stations also in Karachi, Pakistan and Malindi, Kenya.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swakopmund_tracking_station for more information.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I just noticed that Wikipedia gives -22.574746, 14.54778 goo.gl/maps/5HskMH7m8ch1kRuT6 which is not so far from the Moon landscape at -22.704662, 14.859690 (per google maps at least) goo.gl/maps/FZqtktaStqcG1YZC6 $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 9:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Certainly close by for Namibian standards where you drive 2 hours for a quick trip to the super market :) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ So going to the supermarket feels like a trip to the Moon and back? :-) Are you just guessing about the fish or have you eaten there? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 9:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh The fish is personal experience :) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 10:03

In 2014 China and Argentina signed an agreement that allowed China to establish and operate a deep space station in Argentina.

According to Reuters, the Chinese military runs the station in Argentina. The site is on a 200 ha compound, in a remote part of Argentina.

While it still has access to an Australian space dish, at Yatharagga in Western Australia, operated by the Swedish Space Corporation, the Chinese might have used it as well.


The Chinese space tracking station in Argentina is due south of Washington DC and is thus in line with geostationary satellites servicing the east coast of the USA.

The European Space Agency has a smaller facility,

about 600 miles north of the Chinese base, in Mendoza Province of Argentina. But that operation is run by Argentinians on behalf of the European agency.

In addition to the land based tracking stations in Argentina, Namibia, Kenya and Pakistan, China uses at least five ships at sea for its space program.

The tracking stations in Pakistan were established as part of a deal with China, when China made the PAKSAT-1R satellite.

The full list of Chinese space tracking stations is fairly extensive, with assets on most continents except North America and Antarctica.


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