Deep Space Network – Transmit-receive antennas
Deep Space Network – Transmit-receive global network of large antennas, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is a NASA interplanetary dashboard that allows constant communication with spacecraft. In March 2020, modernization works began at one of the largest antennas of this network – Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43) in Canberra, Australia.
DSN, one of NASA’s three Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program networks. It is located in three places in the world – in California, Spain and Australia. This allows mission controllers to communicate continuously with spacecraft on and off the Moon despite the rotation of the Earth.
DSS-43, a 70-meter antenna located in the southern hemisphere, is the only one that can send commands to the Voyager 2 probe, which travels southwards in relation to the Earth’s. orbit. (Other antennas at the Canberra complex can also receive Voyager 2 signals, but only the DSS-43 can send commands to it.)
Voyager 2, launched in 1977, is more than 11 billion miles (17.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. Therefore, it requires a powerful radio antenna to transmit its commands. Such a possibility is offered by a special transmitter operating in the S band of Deep Space Station 43.
This upgrade will not only benefit Voyager 2, but also improve connectivity with the Perseverance Mars rover. In addition, it will facilitate future activities in the field of exploration of the Moon and Mars. This network will play a key role in navigating and communicating with initial missions to the Moon and Mars, such as the manned Artemis mission.