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This photo released by NASA on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012
shows the view from the balcony of the control rooms
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Dark Room in the
foreground, Deep Space Network control room on the
right, and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission
Support Area, back left, in Pasadena, Calif. The MSL
Rover named Curiosity is designed to assess whether
Mars ever had an environment able to support small
life forms called microbes. Curiosity is due to land on
Mars at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5, 2012 (1:31 a.m.
EDT on Aug. 6, 2012). (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)
MONROVIA, Calif., Aug. 15, 2012 – Operated by ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Deep Space Network (DSN) communications system site at Goldstone helped guide NASA’s Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars. Curiosity made history Sunday, Aug. 5, by becoming the largest vehicle ever to land on the “Red Planet.”

Through their support of the DSN’s global network of antennas and control facilities, Exelis ensures that scientists and mission controllers constantly connect to the Curiosity rover. This network enables the collection of performance data, direct communication for navigation, and the transfer of data back to Earth for examination. 

“The rover carries the largest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface,” said Pat Carr, vice president and general manager of ITT Exelis Information Systems Command, Control and Communications (C3) Systems business. “It is designed to assess Mars’ environment and its ability to support small life forms called microbes. The mission will yield unprecedented breakthroughs toward the understanding of the formation of our universe. As NASA prepares for future missions, Exelis will continue to support with leading technological solutions.”

The DSN comprises an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary robotic spacecraft missions for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. For the past nine years, Exelis has been under contract to support the operation and maintenance of the DSN. The DSN is managed for NASA by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology. 


About ITT Exelis
ITT Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense and information solutions company with strong positions in enduring and emerging global markets. Exelis is a leader in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems with growing positions in cyber security, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. The company has a 50-year legacy of innovation and technology expertise, partnering with customers worldwide to deliver affordable, mission-critical products and services for managing global threats, conflicts and complexities. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 20,500 people and generated 2011 sales of $5.8 billion.

Media contact:
Jane Khodos