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Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander MissionThe Phoenix Lander, first of NASA's Mars Scout missions, arrived at the Red Planet on May 25, 2008. From the moment the lander separated from its interplanetary cruise stage shortly before entry, the spacecraft could no longer communicate directly with Earth, and was instead entirely dependent on UHF relay communications via an international network of orbiting Mars spacecraft, including NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft, as well as ESA's Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft. All three orbiters captured critical event telemetry and/or tracking data during Phoenix Entry, Descent and Landing. During the Phoenix surface mission, ODY and MRO provided command and telemetry services, far surpassing the original data return requirements. The availability of MEX as a backup relay asset enhanced the robustness of the surface relay plan. In addition to telecommunications services, Doppler tracking observables acquired on the UHF link yielded an accurate position for the Phoenix landing site.
Document ID
20150011954
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Edwards, Charles D., Jr.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Erickson, James K.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Gladden, Roy E.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Guinn, Joseph R.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Ilott, Peter A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jai, Benhan
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Johnston, Martin D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Kornfeld, Richard P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Martin-Mur, Tomas J.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
McSmith, Gaylon W.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Thomas, Reid C.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Varghese, Phil
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Signori, Gina
(Deep Space Communication System Morrison, CO, United States)
Schmitz, Peter
(European Space Agency. European Space Operations Center Darmstadt, Germany)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2015
Publication Date
March 6, 2010
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Meeting Information
2010 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
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