. 24/7 Space News .
How NASA's Deep Space Network Supports the Agency's Missions
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 16, 2022


Over 50 years ago, NASA captured the world's imagination and inspired generations with the Apollo 11 Moon landing. NASA's then-young Deep Space Network (DSN) was crucial to tracking and communicating with that mission, as it will also be essential to NASA's next push to the Moon: Artemis. In the half-century between those two lunar efforts, the network has expanded to support dozens of robotic spacecraft exploring the solar system, requiring complex coordination throughout the space agency.

Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, with the oversight of NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program, the DSN will support a constant flow of data with Artemis I's uncrewed Orion capsule beyond low-Earth orbit after launch. This includes the mission's outbound journey and return, plus all the mission's trajectory maneuvers in between, ensuring commands can be sent to the spacecraft and data can be returned to Earth.

The DSN will work in tandem with NASA's Near Space Network, managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, with the oversight of the SCaN Program. Together, the networks help to create a foundation for future crewed Artemis launches to the lunar surface.

To make sure the DSN can keep up with demand, it is undergoing a series of improvements to increase capacity. Also crucial to managing that demand, the network relies on a robust scheduling system to ensure the interplanetary switchboard can maximize coverage between so many missions. Schedulers with each mission negotiate with one another, working with DSN team members to make sure they will have network support for critical operations.

"There are different types of data that require different commitments, depending on what phase the mission is in," said JPL's Michael Levesque, DSN project manager. "Certain mission events, such as launches, landings, and planetary maneuvers, require constant contact with the DSN, so planning the network's schedule typically begins 12 to 15 weeks ahead."

Some missions - such as NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which impacted the small asteroid Dimorphos in September - require transmitting a lot more data. The DART mission received round-the-clock DSN coverage surrounding the asteroid impact, with commands being transmitted to the spacecraft and data being sent back to Earth about the spacecraft's health and the effects of the impact. "This can tie up DSN resources," said Levesque, "but as the schedulers plan for events many months in advance, the effect on other missions can be well managed."

When urgent situations arise that throw off predetermined schedules, real-time discussions take place between missions to make adjustments. Demands on the network wax and wane, and there are other factors that can help make scheduling less complex. Should key mission events overlap, spacecraft may use onboard data storage and processing, allowing valuable science data to be transmitted at a later time, when communication demands are lower.

The network's configuration also comes into play: The DSN consists of multiple giant antenna dishes arrayed in three complexes evenly spaced around the world at the Goldstone complex near Barstow, California; in Madrid, Spain; and in Canberra, Australia. This ensures they can trade off communicating with spacecraft to provide constant coverage as Earth rotates.

Related Links
Deep Space Network
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

AST SpaceMobile deploys largest-ever commercial communications array in LEO
Midland TX (SPX) Nov 15, 2022
AST SpaceMobile, Inc. ("AST SpaceMobile") (NASDAQ: ASTS) has completed deployment of the communications array for its test satellite, BlueWalker 3 ("BW3"), in orbit. BW3 is the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit and is designed to communicate directly with cellular devices via 3GPP standard frequencies at 5G speeds. Now that it has been unfolded, the satellite spans 693 square feet in size, a design feature critical to support a space-based cellular broadband ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

AFRL awards contract for pioneering spacecraft in region of Moon

Calnetix Technologies' high-speed blower system delivered to ISS

SmartSat CRC and NASA team up to collaborate on astronaut emergency communications

S.S. Sally Ride delivers experiments to International Space Station

To orbit and back with Space Rider

NASA Awards SpaceX Second Contract Option for Artemis Moon Landing

LOFTID inflatable heat shield test a success, early results show

Rocket Factory Augsburg to use test infrastructure at DLR Lampoldshausen

Mars was covered by 300 meter deep oceans

Perseverance investigates intriguing Martian bedrock

Martian dust storms churn up Earth-like clouds

The first life in our solar system may have been on Mars

Shenzhou XIV taikonauts perform third spacewalk

Galactic Energy carries out fourth successful launch

China launches spacecraft carrying cargo for space station

China's cargo spacecraft sets new world record

Einstein Industries Ventures joins ESA Investor Network

Satellite broadband firms join forces

SFL contracted for 15 additional HawkEye 360 RF geolocation microsatellites

AE Industrial Partners completes investment in York Space Systems

How NASA's Deep Space Network Supports the Agency's Missions

NASA Webb Telescope micrometeoroid mitigation update

NASA's Artemis I cameras to offer new views of Orion, Earth, Moon

ESA experiences COP27 using a space-empowered metaverse

Colliding magnetic fields reveal unknown planets

"Polluted" white dwarfs show that stars and planets grow together

Early planetary migration can explain missing planets

Oldest planetary debris in our galaxy found from new study

Mars and Jupiter moons meet

NASA studies origins of dwarf planet Haumea

NASA study suggests shallow lakes in Europa's icy crust could erupt

Sharpest Earth-based images of Europa and Ganymede reveal their icy landscape

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.