Curiosity´s Communications

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Curiosity´s Communications

Most often, Curiosity will likely send radio waves through its ultra-high frequency (UHF) antenna (about 400 Megahertz) to communicate with Earth through NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiters.Because the rover's and orbiters' antennas are close-range, they act a little like walky-talkies compared to the long range of the low-gain and high-gain antennas. Using orbiters to relay messages is beneficial because they are closer to the rover than the Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas on Earth and they have Earth in their field of view for much longer time periods than the roverSource

Curiosity's Communications:How Do We Communicate With and Manuver a Rover on Mars

Landing Mechanics

Engineers designed the spacecraft to steer itself during descent through Mars’ atmosphere with a series of S-curve maneuvers similar to those used by astronauts piloting NASA space shuttlesSource

The mission team typically plans to use the high-gain antenna for their daily uplink of commands to Curiosity. The high-gain antenna sends a "beam" of information in a specific direction and is steerable. That means the antenna can move to point itself directly to any antenna on Earth.Source 1Source 2

Figure 2. Scientist observing pictures from Mars

Figure 1. Self Portrait taken by Curiosity

Figure 3. Curiosity's UHF Antenna

Video 1. Curiosity and Automonous Navigation


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