How does DS1's mission compare to other space missions?

How is NASA overseeing the DS1 mission?

NASA is tracking DS1 through use of the Deep Space Network, which is a set of radio telescopes that can receive data from spacecraft. DS1 will send back (or "downlink") telemetry which will tell NASA if the technology being tested on DS1 is working correctly.

How does NASA run space missions?
What is DS1's programmed mission?
What new technologies are being tested on DS1?
What is the difference between DS1 and NASA's autonomous spacecraft?
What is DSN?
What are uplink and downlink?
What is telemetry?

How will we know if the new technologies work?
What kind of data is DS1 sending back?

Why are we testing new technologies on DS1?