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Relay Telecommunications for the Coming Decade of Mars ExplorationOver the past decade, an evolving network of relay-equipped orbiters has advanced our capabilities for Mars exploration. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), as well as ESA's Mars Express Orbiter, have provided telecommunications relay services to the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and to the 2007 Phoenix Lander. Based on these successes, a roadmap for continued Mars relay services is in place for the coming decade. MRO and Odyssey will provide key relay support to the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, including capture of critical event telemetry during entry, descent, and landing, as well as support for command and telemetry during surface operations, utilizing new capabilities of the Electra relay payload on MRO and the Electra-Lite payload on MSL to allow significant increase in data return relative to earlier missions. Over the remainder of the decade a number of additional orbiter and lander missions are planned, representing new orbital relay service providers and new landed relay users. In this paper we will outline this Mars relay roadmap, quantifying relay performance over time, illustrating planned support scenarios, and identifying key challenges and technology infusion opportunities.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Edwards, C.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
DePaula, R.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
May 26, 2015
Publication Date
September 27, 2010
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Astronautical Congress 2010 (IAC 2010)(Praque)
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