Signals from Distant Mars
A follower recently asked me about the communications technology used to help maneuver the curiosity rover. Well here’s a part of how they did it.
In this picture of the antenna DSS-63 with a diameter of 70m (20 floor building) is pointing the Curiosity rover 8 hours before landing on the surface of Mars (Also pictured).
This antenna is located in Madrid and it is part of the Deep Space Network (DSN) property of NASA JPL. At the moment of the picture, the antenna was busy doing Ranging and Doppler measurements of the signals travelling from the spacecraft in order to calculate its position. At the end of this session the calculated position is radioed back to the Curiosity so it can make its EDL using only its IMU and radar.