10 NASA Deep Space Network Facts



For more information on things in deep space, check out our article: 10 Cool Facts on the NASA Deep Space Network.

10 NASA Deep Space Network Facts

Deep Space Network Fact #10: As The World Turns

The Deep Space Network has three main locations positioned around the globe in strategic places, each 120 degrees from one another. This allows the network of dishes to be receive data from any direction from space.


Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/J5sBPp

Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/J5sBPp


Deep Space Network Fact #9: One Small Step for Man…

When the Apollo 13 Spacecraft landed on Luna, our moon, it was NASA’s Deep Space Network which received the transmissions and decoded it to be broadcast around the world. Thanks to the Deep Space Network, we were able to capture the video feed of man’s first step in space.



Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/3j2bSk


Deep Space Network Fact #8: Planetary Ambassador Group

The Deep Space Network is the first line of communication from any robotic object sending transmissions back to Earth. The Network simultaneously relays transmissions to all three of its main locations and other laboratories around the globe.


Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/4E7MS7

Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/4E7MS7


Deep Space Network Fact #7: You’re Sure to Understand This

Way, way back in 1963 when the Deep Space Network began operations, the network only had 3 spacecraft to communicate with. Today, the Network is in continuous contact with 33 different spacecraft!




Deep Space Network Fact #6: Not Just NASA

While NASA gets a lot of the credit for the Deep Space Network, they’re not the only ones running the show. Many space programs from around the world participate in this collective effort.



Image by AstroWatch.net, http://goo.gl/7yltMV


Deep Space Network Fact #5: Always Room For Science

The Deep Space Network does more than just chit-chat with objects in space; it also sends radio waves at objects in space and decipher the waves which are bounced off the object and turns that into valuable scientific data.



Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/0JbTpy


Deep Space Network Fact #4: Houston, We Have a Problem…

The Deep Space Network is largely to thank for the safe return of the Astronauts from the Apollo 13 mission. NASA was in constant communication with the spacecraft after the oxygen tank burst.



“Apollo 13 passing Moon” by James Lovell, John Swigert, Fred Haise – The Apollo Image Gallery. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/6XXWJY


Deep Space Network Fact #3: Go On, We’re Listening

After the 1995 launch of the Galileo Spacecraft, the craft’s high-gain antenna didn’t fully open and communication was left to the low-gain frequency antenna. Luckily, the Engineers at NASA were able to save the day and modify the Deep Space Network to carry out the vast majority (~70%) of the remainder of the originally planned mission!



“Artwork Galileo-Io-Jupiter” by NASA – http://goo.gl/0mAq2Q (image link) http://goo.gl/yz6KN1 (image link). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/fjIzOh


Deep Space Network Fact #2: Which Way Do We Go?

The Voyager Spacecraft missions required Scientists at NASA to contemplate between over 10,000 possible launch directions. Once this extremely complex route was determined, it was up to the Deep Space Network to ensure communication was constantly flowing and the spacecraft were safe and en route.



Image by Moss and Fog, https://goo.gl/8dzMO5


Deep Space Network Fact #1: Instant Messaging, Solar System Style

The Deep Space Network has been in contact with the two Voyager Spacecraft twins since their launches back in 1977. As the two Spacecraft continue on their way, the communication via radio waves (which travel at the speed of light – 186,411 mph) take longer and longer.



Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/MXIeuv


At the end of 2015, the Voyager 1 and 2 Spacecraft are roughly 12 billion and 10 billion miles away from Earth, respectively. It currently takes roughly 18 hours to send a message and another 18 hours to receive the reply.

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