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The Future of NASA's Deep Space Network and Applications to Planetary Probe MissionsNASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) has been an invaluable tool in the world's exploration of space. It has served the space-faring community for more than 45 years. The DSN has provided a primary communication pathway for planetary probes, either through direct- to-Earth links or through intermediate radio relays. In addition, its radiometric systems are critical to probe navigation and delivery to target. Finally, the radio link can also be used for direct scientific measurement of the target body ('radio science'). This paper will examine the special challenges in supporting planetary probe missions, the future evolution of the DSN and related spacecraft technology, the advantages and disadvantages of radio relay spacecraft, and the use of the DSN radio links for navigation and scientific measurements.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Deutsch, Leslie J. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Preston, Robert A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Vrotsos, Peter (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
June 14, 2010
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
International Planetary Probes Workshop 7(Barcelona)
Distribution Limits
Deep Space Network (DSN)
planetary probe missions