New all-in-one antenna for the Deep House Community

The Deep Space Station 56 or DSS-56 is a powerful 34 meter wide antenna that was added to the Spanish Deep Space Communications Complex of the Deep Space Network in Madrid in early 2021 after construction began in 2017. DSN (Deep Space Network) radio antennas communicate with spacecraft throughout the solar system. Previous antennas have been limited in the frequency bands that they can receive and transmit, and often limited only to communicating with certain spacecraft. DSS-56 is the first to use the full range of communication frequencies of the DSN. This means that DSS-56 is an “all-in-one” antenna that can communicate with all missions supported by the DSN and can be used as a backup for all the other antennas in the Madrid complex.

With the addition of DSS-56 and other 34-meter antennas to all three DSN complexes, the network is preparing to play a critical role in ensuring communications and navigation support for upcoming Lunar and Mars missions and the Artemis Play missions with crew.

The Deep Space Network is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations space communications and navigation program.

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