Saturday, January 14, 2006

Deep Space Network Unsung Hero of Interplanetary Travel

The NASA Deep Space Network, three deep-space communications facilities situated around the globe, supports interplanetary missions such as Stardust, and various radio and radar astronomy observations. Without the network, scientists would be unable to communicate with some satellites at mission-critical times.

By utilizing communication towers in California, Spain and Australia, scientists can remain in constant contact with spacecraft scattered around the Solar System.

Here's a photo-tutorial on how to build a 34-meter antennae, and here are instructions for building a toy model of one.
You can also learn all about why scientists need such enormous antenna's, how they work and what they can do, from Dr. Dish.

Or just check out this great Wikipedia entry...

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