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L3Harris Technologies to Provide Critical Communications Link in NASA’s Mars Rover Exploration Mission

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team


  • Will connect rover with overhead obiters for important communications link
  • Enables controllers to issue instructions and receive feedback
  • Highlights 20-year legacy providing data transmission for every rover mission since 2001

MELBOURNE, Fla., FEBRUARY 16, 2021 – L3Harris Technologies’ (NYSE:LHX) avionics and communications technology will provide a critical link that enables NASA to control the Perseverance Rover when it lands on Mars and throughout its 10-year life expectancy.

L3Harris communications technology will transmit data to and from Perseverance through relay orbiters that then provide a communications link with NASA controllers on Earth from up to 250 million miles away. The controllers will use both critical links to send instructions and receive data, imagery and other feedback from Perseverance.

“The rover will capture and transmit an unprecedented volume and the highest-quality images of the Mars surface via L3Harris’ transceivers to the overhead orbiters,” said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris. “This volume of transmission requires the significant bandwidth our transceivers provide, while adhering to stringent size, weight and energy constraints. Perseverance will operate in an extremely harsh environment for more than a decade, requiring our most hardened, durable and proven solutions. This is another great example of L3Harris driving innovation fast forward.”

L3Harris innovation has played a critical role in space initiatives for more than 60 years. The company has supported NASA’s Mars exploration for two decades – including the Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity and Perseverance vehicles. Perseverance, the most sophisticated rover yet, launched seven months ago on United Launch Alliance’s two-stage Atlas V-541 launch vehicle for a mission expected to last one Martian year – about 687 Earth days.

L3Harris technology has been onboard numerous NASA programs – from early spacecraft and continuing through the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, International Space Station and previous Mars missions. L3Harris has supported deep space exploration with work on the Hubble Space Telescope and now the James Webb and Roman space telescopes. In addition, the company supports space-based weather forecasting on U.S. and international satellites and has navigation technology on every U.S. GPS satellite.

About L3Harris Technologies

L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to- end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea,space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately

$18 billion in annual revenue and 48,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and economic conditions. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements aresubject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements about system capabilities are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. L3Harris disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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Media Information:

Marcella Thompson
Integrated Mission Systems
[email protected]

Jim Burke
[email protected]