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The Deep Space Network

National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC


For 50 years, NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) has been providing the vital link to space exploration. The Deep Space Network consists of giant radio antennas all over the world. Supporting interplanetary missions and radar and radio astronomy observations, the DSN antennas are an essential element of deep space exploration. In celebration of World Space Week, Dr. Joe Lazio, chief scientist for the Deep Space Network, and Dr. Eric Smith, the director of the James Webb Space Telescope, will discuss how the DSN communicates with NASA's deep space telescopes, the technological advances it has enabled, and how the James Webb Space Telescope will communicate with the Deep Space Network and contribute to the future of deep space exploration.


This program is made possible through the generous support of Boeing.

    The 64 meter (210 foot) antenna in Goldstone, California received its first signals from Mariner 4 on March 18, 1966. Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to get a close look at Mars. Nicknamed the Mars station, the Deep Space Station (DSS) – 14 was upgraded to a 70 meter antenna in May 1988 in time to receive the very faint signals from Voyager-2’s encounter with Neptune. DSS-14 continues to receive signals from missions like Voyager 1, which entered into interstellar space in August 2012, about 12 billion miles away from the sun.