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NASA’s Deep Space Network Can Be Overwhelmed By Mars Traffic Jams

By Piyali Roy staff@sciencetimes.com | May 09, 2017 01:43 AM EDT

A fleet of new spacecraft is all set to arrive at the planet Mars in the year 2021, which will create an unrivaled telecommunications challenge for NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN). This spacecraft all need to have communication with Earth in transit to Mars, requiring a lot of telemetries and following after dispatching of the spacecraft and afterward to deal with the red planet.

According to Space News, the launching of the spacecraft which is scheduled for the year 2021 can face many challenges due to an expected traffic jam in Mars. Obviously, the challenge will be faced by NASA's Deep Space Network. There are a sheer number of Mars-bound spacecraft at present, which has been launched by multiple countries, and it can become a stress for NASA's ground tracking network and capabilities.

For the year 2020, the list of Mars mission is too long. Not only NASA will be launching any spacecraft, but other nations are also in the list. This clearly shows how much NASA's Deep Space Network needs to work out from future telecommunication problems. The list has NASA's Mars 2020 rover, China's orbiter, European Space Agency's ExoMars 2020 rover, United Arab Emirates' Hope orbiter, and India's Mars Orbiter Mission 2.

Popular Mechanics reported that NASA is working to set an air traffic control plan for Mars, as a failure in it can cause a huge negative effect for NASA's Deep Space Network. The NASA's DSN is operated by JPL. JPL is now working on the future issue and making out some solutions on handling the influx of new spacecraft at Mars, with the present spacecraft orbiting around the red planet, most of which use DSN.

NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) - a progression of radio dishes in California, Spain, and Australia-handles the greater part of the communications requirements for everything out of the Earth. The DSN gets pictures, radar mapping, and mounds of other information from the rocket at Mars, as well as Cassini at Saturn, New Horizons past Pluto, and even the seemingly perpetual Voyager shuttle.

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