Workers at the Deep Space Network's Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex prepare a support leg that would help raise a portion of the giant "Mars antenna." A portion of the antenna that weighed about 3 million kilograms (7 million pounds) was lifted about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) so workers could replace the hydrostatic bearing assembly. The hydrostatic bearing assembly enables the dish to rotate horizontally.
The work on the hydrostatic bearing assembly was part of a major refurbishment of the Mars antenna that lasted from March to October 2010. The 70-meter-wide (230-foot-wide) Mars antenna got its nickname from its first task: tracking the Mariner 4 spacecraft after its historic flyby of Mars in 1966. The antenna's official name is Deep Space Station 14.
This picture was taken on May 4, 2010.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Deep Space Network for NASA Headquarters, Washington. More information about the Deep Space Network is online at http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/index.html.