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Size/Strength

Size and strength of the DSN antennas

The DSN antennas are extremely large: 34 meters (about 37 yards) and 70 meters (about 76 yards). These enormous antennas enable humans to reach out to spacecraft millions of miles away. The larger the antenna, the stronger the signal and greater the amount of information the antenna can send and receive. The Mars Science Laboratory, while in its cruise stage configuration, communicated through low and medium-gain antennas. When the spacecraft is roving on the planet, it will be communicating with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter via its UHF antenna and to the DSN on Earth by way of its high-gain antenna.


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