Why NASA Should take 1 and Half year to receive data from Pluto|New Horizons
It takes 42 minutes to return one photo to Earth.What is it mean?
As the Pluto is vary far away from earth ,About 4.7 billion kilometres.So receiving the data from such a distance is not easy task.It should take nearly 4.5 hours to reach signals from Pluto to Earth.But the Bandwidth is quite small as the signals are Weak and weak signals means low data rates,New Horizons can transmit at most 1200 bits per second(we should talk about bits not byte : 1 byte=8 bits).So with this small rates how NASA receives the signal.
The answer is NASA’s Deep Space Network ,It Is the only system which receives the signals even at lower rates.Think if the NASA doesn’t have DSN then we wouldn’t see any photo of pluto.
The DSN Consists of a Network of huge satellites dishes spread across three continents-Near Barstow in California;Second near Madrid in Spain and third near Canberra in Australia.Those locations are about 120 degrees in longitude apart to give wide coverage of the skies.So if the signal is lost by one antenna the another one definitely pick it up.
The Sensitive antennas work alone or in groups and communicate with about 30 space probes watch month.The First image of the Closest Pluto fly-by from New Horizons receives by 70-Meter antennas At Madrid and Barstow sites.
The low Speed of transferring data faints the New horizon Signal.But Still the antennas receive it.the signals travel with the speed of light and take almost 4 and half hours to travel between space-crafts and Earth.
The New Horizons is fitted with LORRI(Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) Highest-Resolution Camera That can transmit the image of 1024 pixels.So the Image that LORRI clicks will be of 2.5 Megabits.So with 1200 kilobits per second it takes 42 minutes to return one LORRI photo to Earth.Most Communications seasons last about 8 hours.And also it assumes that New horizon not only send such image data which it’s own but also the other science instruments and space-crafts data too.
So with this Speed and such a longer distance NASA Should take 1 And Half year to receive Data from Pluto,New horizons.