Dishing Out the Data

Explanation: All communications with New Horizons - from sending commands to the spacecraft, to downlinking all of the science data from the historic Pluto encounter - happen through NASA's Deep Space Network of antenna stations in (clockwise, from top left) Madrid, Spain; Goldstone, California, U.S.; and Canberra, Australia. Even traveling at the speed of light, radio signals from New Horizons need more than 4.5 hours to travel the 3 billion miles between the spacecraft and Earth.


Image credit: NASA.