The Deep Space Network (DSN) provides continuous send and receive service for all planetary and deep-space missions throughout one solar day or 24 hours. Stationed in three separate regions of the planet, a seamless hand off transitions service from one network complex to another as the earth rotates providing worldwide coverage with the network’s large radio antennas, remaining in constant contact with all missions throughout the solar system.
After beginning construction in 2017 Deep Space Station 56, or DSS-56, is a powerful, new 34-meter-wide antenna that was added to the Deep Space Network’s Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex in Spain in January of this year.
Previous antenna configurations have been limited in the frequency bands they can receive and transmit, often being restricted to communicating only with specific spacecraft. This new addition, DSS-56, is the first to use the Deep Space Network’s full range of communication frequencies providing an “all-in-one” antenna solution that can communicate with all missions that the DSN supports and can be used as a backup for any of the Madrid complex’s other antennas.
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