More than three decades of interplanetary communication were celebrated today in the award of a special certificate to NASA's Deep Space Network by the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society during its annual meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.
The award cited contributions "to the success of planetary science" through two-way communications with distant spacecraft, returning the science data and "making it possible for experimenters on Earth to monitor and control their experiments on spacecraft, even those at the edge of the solar system and beyond." It was presented by Dr. Michael F. A'Hearn of the University of Maryland, chair of the Division of Planetary Sciences.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Deputy Director Larry N. Dumas accepted the award on behalf of the Deep Space Network. From 1987 to 1992 he was assistant laboratory director in charge of the network, which was developed and is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Communications.
"The men and women of the DSN, in the United States and in cooperating nations overseas, have done a sterling job in keeping the scientists of many nations in touch with NASA and other spacecraft in deep space," said Dumas. The network has communicated with spacecraft visiting the Moon, seven planets, two asteroids and a comet in addition to studying interplanetary space.
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