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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
NASA is building optical communications technologies into its networks, using infrared laser links to offer missions higher data rates than comparable radio frequency systems. NASA’s Low-Cost Optical Terminal (LCOT) will use commercial off-the-shelf or slightly modified hardware to reduce expense and speed implementation.
Commercial Optical Communications Hardware Reduces Cost and Expands Access
NASA plans to implement three new ground stations that will provide near-continuous communications support to missions up to two million kilometers from Earth through NASA’s Near Space Network. These Lunar Exploration Ground Sites (LEGS) will be critical to the success of NASA’s Artemis program, providing needed and enhanced direct-to-Earth communications capabilities to lunar missions.
Expanding Direct-To-Earth Communications Capabilities for Artemis
Dale is enjoying a summer at NASA as part of the highly competitive Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Internship Project (SIP) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA Intern Darius Dale Enhances Near Space Network Ground Systems

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 network

The Near Space Network is a vital communications interface that synthesizes government and commercial services into comprehensive, mission-enabling support for missions. The network leverages the innovation of industry alongside NASA's time-tested expertise and proven track record of success.


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.


ESC 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 far from Earth’s surface.

Our Near Space Network brings down the equivalent of 1,200 Blu-ray discs of data per day. That’s about 90 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!