How are NASA's robotic spacecraft tracked and controlled? Although the public generally focuses its attention on the remarkable scientific achievements of these spacecraft, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is less heralded. The DSN, however, provides the logistical backbone for scientists, engineers, and technicians to know where a particular spacecraft is, to be able to send it on its proper path through (and in some cases beyond) the solar system, and to download useful scientific data. Douglas Mudgway tells the compelling story of how this complex technological and international system was built and improved over four decades.
Therefore, it is appropriate that the Deep Space Network be recognized at this time for its contribution to this remarkable record of progress in our knowledge of the solar system. "Uplink-downlink" presents this record clearly for the attention of specialists, policymakers, students, and general readers.