The Deep Space Network – or DSN – is a series of giant radio antennas used to communicate NASA’s space missions. DSN is owned by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). DSN was founded in 1963.
DSN dishes are placed in three places at equal distances from each other – approximately 120 degrees longitudinally.
1) Goldstone near Barstow, California
2) Madrid, Spain
3) Canberra, Australia
No spacecraft can fly in space without the DSN dish in these three places. Voyager One and Two still communicate with us through these DSN dishes.
All DSN antennas are parabolic reflector antennas. Deep space network antennas range in diameter from 34 m (111 ft) to 70 m (230 ft).
The three DSN antennas communicate directly with the Deep Space Operations Center, located at JPL, California.
The network has been the backbone of NASA’s space communications since 1963. DSN currently supports 39 on-going missions. NASA is currently expanding the network’s capacity by making a number of upgrades that will enable it to carry forward future space exploration.