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CSIRO To Help Ease NASA's ''Traffic Jam''

When six spacecraft besiege Mars in early 2004, CSIRO will help NASA catch as much data from them as possible.

The three tracking stations of NASA's Deep Space Network - near Canberra, Madrid in Spain and Goldstone in California - will be working flat out to monitor the Mars craft and several others.

CSIRO oversees the operation of the Canberra station on NASA's behalf. "We've recently upgraded the station," says station Director Mr Peter Churchill. "We can now listen to two spacecraft and talk to one of them, all at the same time through one antenna."

And the Parkes telescope has been contracted to lend a hand by tracking some of the Mars spacecraft and others from November 2003 to February 2004.

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Added by Andrew Wright on 2002-09-06

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