Communications System

How does NASA communicate with spacecraft?

Why does it take so long for the radio waves to travel through space?

Actually, radio waves travel very quickly through space. Radio waves are a kind of electromagnetic radiation, and thus they move at the speed of light. The speed of light is a little less than 300,000 km per second. At that speed, a beam of light could go around the Earth at the equator more then 7 times in a second.

The reason that it takes so long for radio messages to travel in space is that space is mind-bogglingly big. The distances to be traveled are so great that even light or radio waves take a while getting there. It takes around eight minutes for radio waves to travel from the Earth to the Sun, and four years to get from here to the nearest star.

How long does it take for transmissions to get between DS1 and Earth?
How often is DS1 in communication with Earth?
What are radio waves?

How is lag dealt with?
Why does the data transfer rate have to drop with distance?
What kind of data is DS1 sending back?
How do the instruments and sensors coordinate sending signals?
How much data is DS1 able to transfer?
What is electromagnetic radiation?

How do you make a radio wave?