Milestone-Proposal talk:Deep Space Station 43, 1973

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Advocates’ Checklist

  1. Is proposal for an achievement rather than for a person?
  2. Was proposed achievement a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement to an existing technology?
  3. Were there prior or contemporary achievements of a similar nature?
  4. Has the achievement truly led to a functioning, useful, or marketable technology?
  5. Is proposal adequately supported by significant references (minimum of five) such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books? At least one of the references from a peer-reviewed scholarly book or journal article. The full text of the material, not just the references, shall be present. If the supporting texts are copyright-encumbered and cannot be posted on the ETHW for intellectual property reasons, the proposers shall email a copy to the History Center so that it can be forwarded to the advocate. If the advocate does not consider the supporting references sufficient, the advocate may ask the proposer(s) for additional ones.
  6. Are the scholarly references sufficiently recent?
  7. Is proposed citation readable and understandable by the general public?
  8. Does the proposed plaque site fulfill the requirements?
  9. Is the proposal quality comparable to that of IEEE publications?
  10. Scientific and technical units correct? (e.g. km, mm, hertz, etc.) Are acronyms correct and properly upperercased or lowercased?
  11. Date formats correct as specified in Section 6 of Milestones Program Guidelines?,_Plaque_Locations

Reviewers’ Checklist

  1. Is suggested wording of the Plaque Citation accurate?
  2. Is evidence presented in the proposal of sufficient substance and accuracy to support the Plaque Citation?
  3. Does proposed milestone represent a significant technical achievement?

Approval Log

20 June 2023 submitted; 11 July 2023 --approval by History Committee

References and Citations for DSS 43 -- Ambarishnatu (talk) 01:29, 26 August 2022 (UTC) (November 2020)

The above website mentions the fact that In March 2021, NASA announced that Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43) in Australia, the only antenna on Earth that can send commands to Voyager 2. As for why DSS-43 is the only dish in the world that can reach Voyager 2, the reason isn't purely technological. As a result of the probe's flyby of Neptune's moon Triton in 1989, Voyager 2's trajectory steered significantly southward relative to the Solar System's plane of planets, meaning earthbound antennas in the northern hemisphere have no way of reaching it. (May 2020)

For 48 years, DSS43 has been a vital part of NASA’s global Deep Space Network. It provides two-way radio contact with dozens of robotic spacecrafts exploring the Solar System and beyond. It is the largest steerable parabolic dish in the southern hemisphere. Deep Space Station 43 at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex will support upcoming robotic and human missions to the Moon and Mars.

As two former NASA engineers, we knew Canberra was home to a critical space communications complex on NASA’s Deep Space Network that enabled us to see dazzling pictures of Mars and Pluto. What we didn’t know was how critical this particular location of the Deep Space Network is to making spaceflight happen. Nor were we fully aware of the deep history Canberra has played in human exploration beyond Earth. It is hard to imagine a key connection to the world’s spacecraft is in the midst of countryside filled with flocks of curious sheep and bouncing kangaroos. In other words Canberra, as part of the Deep Space Network, provides a critical link to over $18 billon worth of spacecraft. Although you might expect that Canberra carries about one third of all the radio traffic to these spacecraft with Goldstone and Madrid carrying the rest of the workload, you’d be mistaken. Nearly 42% of all data emanating from celestial explorers like Voyager, New Horizons, and the Curiosity rover comes through Canberra

The Deep Space Network - or DSN - is NASA’s international array of giant radio antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions, plus a few that orbit Earth. The DSN also provides radar and radio astronomy observations that improve our understanding of the solar system and the larger universe.

The DSN is operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which also operates many of the agency's interplanetary robotic space missions.

The DSN consists of three facilities spaced equidistant from each other – approximately 120 degrees apart in longitude – around the world. These sites are at Goldstone, near Barstow, California; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. The strategic placement of these sites permits constant communication with spacecraft as our planet rotates – before a distant spacecraft sinks below the horizon at one DSN site, another site can pick up the signal and carry on communicating. (August 2014)

The Tidbinbilla 70m radio telescope, also known as Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43), is one of the antennas at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) located at Tidbinbilla near Canberra. The CDSCC is one of three stations that make up the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN), and the primary purpose of station's antennas is to track spacecraft and space probes for NASA and other space agencies. Some antenna time not used for space communication is scheduled for Host Country radio-astronomy observations and is open to the astronomical community. In this paper, I report the current status of the 70m dish and highlight two recent development projects: the OTF mode and the wideband K-band receiver system.

By the end of 1969, construction had begun on a new larger antenna dish - Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43).

Originally constructed as a 64 metre diameter dish it was designed to support missions to the Moon and beyond to the outer planets. Its larger surface area meant that it had a greater overall sensitivity to the weak radio signals being transmitted by spacecraft at these enormous distances.

It was scheduled to enter service in early 1973, but was ready to support communications by the end of the previous year. To test the new antenna’s systems, it was decided to use it, on an ‘as needed’ basis, to support the final mission of the lunar program - Apollo 17 in December 1972.

On the 15th December 1972, astronaut Gene Cernan took the last steps on the surface of the Moon as part of the Apollo program, and said: “And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Citation -- Ambarishnatu (talk) 01:53, 1 October 2022 (UTC)

Deep Space Station 43, 1972-1989

Deep Space Station 43 (DSS43) came online in 1972 and helped support Apollo 17. Its parabolic antenna diameter was extended to 70 metres in 1987 for support of Voyager 2’s 1989 Neptune encounter. DSS43 plays a vital role in NASA’s global Deep Space Network as the largest Southern Hemisphere antenna, and its importance will continue in support of Moon to Mars missions.

Two Expert Reviews -- Bberg (talk) 06:30, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

As the Advocate for this Milestone proposal, I post here two Expert Reviews. They have both confirmed that (1) the wording of the Plaque Citation is accurate, (2) evidence presented in the proposal is of sufficient substance and accuracy to support the Plaque Citation, and (3) the proposed Milestone represents a significant technical achievement.

Brief biography of Expert Reviewer #1
Dennis Wingo is CEO and Founder of Skycorp, Inc. and Greentrail Energy, Inc., and Co-Founder and CTO of Orbital Recovery, Inc. His key areas of expertise are solar electric propulsion, satellite and spacecraft design, advanced mission planning, and lunar surface operational scenario development. He has 45 years of experience in electrical engineering, and in electronic and digital systems design. Dennis has worked for many groundbreaking companies including Vector Graphic Inc. (microcomputers), Symbolics (Artificial Intelligence), Ibis (early advanced disk drives), and Alpharel (large engineering servers). When he moved into the aerospace world, he brought the advances in commercial off-the-shelf computing to the space industry, including the first MacIntosh flown on the Space Shuttle, and also the first RISC-V based computer and multi-terabyte Solid State Disk (SSD) as used on the International Space Station. Dennis is currently involved with a commercial payload which will include an 8 terabyte SSD as part of a proof-of-concept first-ever Moon-based data center scheduled for launch later in 2023.

Brief biography of Expert Reviewer #2
Richard W. Voreck has been in the space communications industry for over 40 years at the Space Infrastructure division of Maxar Technologies (formerly Space Systems/Loral and Ford Aerospace). He has worked on dozens of spacecraft, on Telemetry Command and Ranging (TCR) systems, earth imaging systems, robotic missions, and much more. Rick has worked at large earth stations around the world including South Point Hawaii, Gilbert Arizona, Cheyenne Wyoming, Fillmore California, Kobe and Hatoyama in Japan, Perth Australia, and Griesheim Germany. He has also worked at launch sites including Kennedy Space Center, the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, Sea Launch, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Voreck is currently a Technical Program Manager for the Communications Subsystem of the OSAM-1 robotic spacecraft which for the first time will refuel satellites while in orbit as well as relocate them if necessary. He has a BSEE and has done graduate work in EE, and has a patent on contingency TCR communications which are currently in use on two spacecraft.

Submission and review log -- Administrator4 (talk) 12:55, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

Proposal submitted 20 June 2023, Advocate approval 29 June 2023,

verb tense of citation? -- Amy Bix (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Looks good! I think my only question is about the verb tense of the citation. The current version uses present tense: "(DSS-43) has supported the Apollo 17 lunar mission" "DSS-43 is critical for communications". All that makes sense now. But if we are thinking that these plaques will (hopefully) be in place for the next thirty, forty, or more years, it is probably not safe to assume that DSS-43 will still be in use then - and thus, present-tense verbs will be outdated. Would it be wise to rewrite the plaque from a more historical point of view?

Re: verb tense of citation? -- Bberg (talk) 12:59, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

I received this 70-word version from a key person in Australia, and it works nicely:

Dedicated in 1973, Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43) supported the Apollo 17 lunar mission, the Viking Mars landers, the Pioneer and Mariner planetary probes, and Voyager's encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Utilising the southern hemisphere's largest steerable parabolic antenna, planning for many robotic and human missions to explore the solar system and beyond has included DSS-43 for critical communications and tracking as part of NASA’s Deep Space Network.

This will be updated on the main page by the proposer.