Constellation Autonomy

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A constellation of communication relay satellites at the Moon would require a large amount of Earth-based tracking for navigation purposes, even in between lunar missions when no communication relay services are required. If this constellation could be operated autonomously, this would relieve part of the burden on tracking networks such as the Deep Space Network (DSN). With autonomous orbit determination, the spacecraft could not only navigate themselves, but act as mobile tracking stations for other spacecraft near the Moon.

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