How to reach Mars?
So, imagine that you have an urgent need to contact the rover, located on Mars. How can you do this? To mankind had the opportunity to visit at least virtually on Mars, the signal sent from Earth, must pass a minimum of fifty-five million kilometers! Even at such a distance, which is considered the smallest happens every 15-17 years during Great confrontation, the received signal will be delayed for approximately 3 minutes. Since then it is possible to reach Mars and preferably without interference?
Despite the apparent closeness of the signal from the planet Earth to Mars is an average of 5-10 minutes
As the rovers are controlled from Earth?
Despite the fact that the planet Mars is very far from us, now its rusty surface ply rovers created by man. These small devices not only make full-color images, but also transmitted to Earth a huge amount of scientific data.
To you and I were able to enjoy the panoramic photographs of the Martian landscape, scientists have created the present system, which allows us to track the entire process of data transmission received on the Red Planet.
So often in the process of data transmission from Mars involves 3 basic shapes - Center of Space Communications, located on Earth satellites in the orbit of Mars and the rover itself.
Before you get on the ground, with the rover's data had to go a very long way Due to the fact that the Earth revolves very quickly around its axis, to provide a continuous signal to Mars, we need to have multiple points to receive and transmit data. These are called stations DSN. The stations are located in the US, Spain and Australia, and as our planet rotates in the opposite direction, a signal is transferred from one station to another, allowing him to control the spacecraft 24 hours a day.
The most frequently used station to communicate with the rovers is the DSN station, located near the capital of Australia, Canberra. This complex has three active antennas of different sizes: DSS-DSS-34 and 45, whose diameters are 34 m and DSS-43, which is larger than 70 meters.
In general, the station carries 4 different functions. So, for the adoption of a clear signal coming from Mars station in Canberra should not only receive the encrypted data, but watch out for the possibility of communication between the two planets, process the data, transmit control commands to the rover scientists and monitor the system DSN station itself.
DSN station in Canberra, Australia
All the information that is to be adopted by the rover is sent to the DSN station, from where it is sent to space travel to distant "Red Planet." Signal goes to the planet about 5-10 minutes, with the proviso that Mars is at a relatively close distance from the Earth, after which it catches Mars orbital satellite that sends a coded signal and at the rover receiver.
The article on the subject: Another reason why we should not colonize Mars
All rovers equipped with special antennas, each of which is used to receive and transmit data. Thus, the rover Curiosity equipped by three antennas, each of which has its own function. LGA-antenna is responsible for receiving information, UHF-antenna is most commonly used for data transfer, and the HGA equipment is responsible for receiving commands for the rover.
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Sometimes rover generates so much information that is not always possible to send back to Earth all the useful data. To solve this problem, NASA experts set priorities of importance, which is why part of the data is simply removed before reaching our planet.
whether satellites are needed to communicate with Mars?
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the Martian surface
As we explained earlier, to communicate with the rovers, we need to use satellites in orbit "Red Planet." Each of these satellites associated with the rover through a special communication window, which usually last only a few minutes. Despite the short reaction time, this time is quite enough to convey the necessary amount of information.
If before 2006 Communicator work performed Odyssey satellite, at the present time with him working a new satellite Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO. Besides having a very impressive arsenal of cutting-edge scientific instruments, MRO and equipped with the latest camera HiRISE, which allows you to take pictures with high resolution. DSN stations are in communication with MRO approximately 16 hours a day, since the rest of the time the satellite is on the reverse side of Mars and closed by a layer of planet transmission signal.
Odyssey satellite in the orbit of Mars
Despite the seeming simplicity of the process, the cost of one hour call is currently about $ 10,000. So if one day you suddenly want to make a call to the future Martian colony, then first you have to collect a decent amount. Well, after reading this article, you at least will know why your call will be worth so much money.
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