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Exploration & Space Communications
The Exploration and Space Communications (ESC) projects division at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has reorganized its portfolio to execute the bold commercialization plan set forth by NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program. This plan cements the U.S. government’s commitment to engage with private industry to build a commercial space economy.
Near-Space Communications Reimagined
Generic CIS office background with Earth and networking lines.
New Commercialization Office Seeks Collaboration with Industry Providers
This illustration shows the Gateway lunar platform orbiting the Moon.
Goddard’s Core Flight Software Chosen for NASA’s Lunar Gateway
The Institute of Navigation has awarded a team of NASA engineers with the Samuel M. Burka award. The award recognized a publication related to NASA’s GPS Antenna Characterization Experiment (GPS ACE). In this photo, lead author and GPS ACE engineer Jennifer Donaldson of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, holds the award.

The GPS ACE effort used GPS signal data received by spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit to map GPS signal patterns. The comprehensive models developed by the team has furthered the navigation community’s understanding of GPS side lobes, which supplement main lobe signals to provide spacecraft at higher altitudes with critical navigation data. In fact, NASA spacecraft have fixed their location almost halfway to the Moon using GPS and a forthcoming Commercial Lunar Payload Services receiver is expected to obtain the first GPS fix on the lunar surface.

In addition to Donaldson, Goddard’s Joel Parker and Michael Moreau and The Aerospace Corporation’s Dolan Highsmith and Philip Martzen were recognized for their contributions to the paper. The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program office at NASA Headquarters in Washington leads development of GPS navigation capabilities that will empower the Artemis program.
NASA Engineers Win Institute of Navigation’s Samuel M. Burka Award

Keeping Explorers Connected

The Exploration and Space Communications (ESC) projects division recognizes that every moment is an opportunity for action. We stand ready to provide cross-cutting technical expertise and creative problem-solving to deliver not only high rate/full coverage communications services, but bold, forward-thinking solutions to advance exploration and discovery.

Our networks

The Space Network and the Near Earth Network, two vital pieces of space communications infrastructure managed by ESC, bring down 98 percent of the data from NASA spacecraft every day.


ESC engineers play a critical role in enabling NASA to explore more of our universe than ever before, crafting cutting-edge solutions for the next generation of science and discovery.


Exploration and Space Communications projects affect billions of lives around the globe, from creating technology for search and rescue to bringing down data used in weather forecasting and much more.

Expertise in…

Communicating is at the heart of every human endeavor, but it becomes especially important when communicating with humans and spacecraft hundreds to billions of miles off of Earth’s surface.

Our two networks combine to bring down the equivalent of 1,200 Blu-ray discs of data per day. That’s about 98 percent of the data from all NASA missions.

We provide communications support for more than 50 scientific, technology and human spaceflight missions.

We advance emerging technologies such as optical communications, quantum communications, disruption tolerant networking and more.

quote iconEnabling NASA’s scientific exploration and discovery. Without communications and navigation, there is no mission.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about how Exploration and Space Communications can help you? Click on the link below to get in touch, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We look forward to supporting you!