The main tracking station that will cover the landing activities of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC), in Australia, experts announce. The facility will be up in arms on August 5/6.
Curiosity will have the most complex entry, descent and landing stages of any Martian landing ever attempted. The entire procedure will last around 7 minutes, and the Australian station will be the first to pick up the rover's signals once it lands.
The CDSCC features three listening antennas, the largest of which is 70 meter (229 feet) in diameter. The other two are both 34-meter (111.5 feet) wide. Each of these instruments is extremely efficient at detecting even the faintest signals from Mars, Universe Today
In addition to the Australian installation, three orbiters around Mars will also be providing support during landing. These are the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey (NASA) and the Mars Express (ESA).