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Alaska antenna to improve NASA's space communications system
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Oct 4, 2017


NASA unveiled a new space communications antenna at the Alaska Satellite Facility in Fairbanks this week. The new antenna, AS-2, which sits atop the Elvey building at University of Alaska Fairbanks, will retrieve data from NASA's spacecraft.

NASA operates three space communications networks, the Deep Space Network, Space Network and Near Earth Network. AS-2 will boost the capacity of the Near Earth Network, which supports space satellites orbiting within 1.2 million miles from Earth.

The Near Earth Network services several Earth-observing satellites, including NASA's Aqua, Aura and Soil Moisture Active Passive satellites. The antenna fields data within two main frequency ranges, S-band and X-band.

Scientists and researchers at the university are happy to have the antenna nearby. Its data has fueled a variety of doctorate research projects.

"When we installed the new antenna, people stopped by and told us their stories about it," Joe O'Brien, the AS-2 project manager at UAF, said in a news release. "It was kind of neat to hear people's connection to the antenna, to know they care about it."

SPACE TRAVEL
Mapping NASA's Space Missions
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 22, 2017
Sitting in the flight director's chair at Johnson Space Center's historic Mission Control, Joshua Fogel listened as one of NASA's most iconic phrases echoed through the room once more: "Houston, we've had a problem." Along with other interns at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Fogel was watching the movie Apollo 13 in the very room where it happened. "It was so surreal," he said. "I was sit ... read more

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