Near Earth Network (NEN)

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Worldwide ground-based tracking stations comprise NASA’s Near Earth Network, which connects scientists and mission controllers to critical spacecraft data. More than 20 tracking sites around the globe provide the communications link that allows more than 40 missions to transfer their data to Earth.

Missions using the Near Earth Network may require daily or even hourly contacts with NEN resources, and the network rises to the challenge, averaging between 120 and 150 spacecraft contacts a day to bring data securely to mission operations centers on Earth. The NEN supports not only robotic missions, but also human exploration through their Launch Communications Segment in Florida.

Quick Facts

The NEN operates 24/7, and provides approximately 800 hours of user service a week.
The NEN is made up of more than 30 antennas, both commercial and NASA-owned, on all seven continents.
The NEN support four separate radio frequency bands: VHF, S-band, X-band, and Ka-band.
The NEN provides communications and navigation for more than 40 NASA missions at a proficiency of more than 99.3 percent.