Deep Space Network – Transceiver global network of antennas

Deep Space Network – Transceiver global network of antennas

Deep Space Network – Transceiver global network of antennas.

Managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is a NASA interplanetary switchboard that allows constant communication with space vehicles. In March 2020, modernization work began at one of the largest antennas of this network – Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43), in Canberra, Australia. DSN, one of the three networks of NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program. It is located in three places in the world – California, Spain and Australia. This allows mission controllers to communicate continuously with spacecraft on and off the moon, despite the Earth’s rotation.

DSS-43, a 70-meter antenna located in the southern hemisphere, is the only one that can send commands to Voyager 2, which is traveling south of Earth’s orbit. (Other antennas at the Canberra complex can also pick up signals from Voyager 2. But only DSS-43 can send commands to it.) Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 is more than 11 billion miles (17.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. Therefore, it requires a powerful radio antenna to transmit its commands. A special transmitter operating in the S-band of Deep Space Station 43 has such a possibility.

This upgrade will not only benefit Voyager 2 directly, but will also improve connectivity with the Perseverance Mars rover. In addition, it will facilitate future efforts to explore the Moon and Mars. This network will play a key role in navigation and communication with initial missions to the Moon and Mars, such as the manned Artemis mission. The antenna was turned off in early March 2020 and will be turned back on after the upgrade is completed in January 2021.

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