Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
The Australian space tracking facility, the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC), is about 20 kilometres southwest of Canberra, the nation's capital. It is one of three tracking stations that make up NASA's Deep Space Network and is essential for coordinating communications with spacecraft exploring the solar system and beyond.
The CDSCC has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1965. For NASA, the facility is run by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). It is placed on a 385-hectare location and has four sizable antennas that can pick up signals from distant spacecraft billions of kilometres away.
The giant antenna at CDSCC has a diameter of 70 metres, making it one of the most significant and most sensitive in the whole world. They are intended to follow and interact with spacecraft as they move across the void of space, sending information back to Earth and taking orders from mission controllers.
The Apollo Moon landings, the Voyager expeditions to the outer solar system, and the most current New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond, among other essential space missions in history, all used CDSCC. Also, the facility participates in recent projects, including the Juno mission to Jupiter and the Mars Exploration Rovers.
The CDSCC serves as a centre for space science research in addition to its function as a space communication system. Many scientific initiatives are carried out at the complex, including investigations into the atmosphere and ionosphere of the Earth, searches for alien life, and the detection of gravitational waves.
Visitors to the CDSCC are welcome to tour the facility with a guide, which includes a stop in the control room where they may observe how spacecraft are tracked and monitored. A tourist centre with interactive displays about space exploration and the function of the CDSCC in NASA's Deep Space Network is also part of the complex.