# Missions at or soon-to-be at Mars and their DSN “codenames”?

I'm "mining" old DSN data and would like to see all communications with spacecraft around Mars. A quick snapshot in their data shows the following codes. I can guess that MRO is Mars Reconasence Orbiter and MSL is Mars Science Laboratory, but I'm only 99% sure of these, and not sure how many others.

On this page https://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/ I see MISSIONS and Current, but if I click it I actually get the "Great Galactic Ghoul!" (click for full size - If you dare!)

I think there are about six spacecraft there, but not sure what codes to use to search the DSN data, any suggestions?

A random, small "snapshot" sample, will try to get a longer one soon...

'RSTS', 'CHDR', 'CASS', 'MSGR', 'MVN', 'M01O', 'MRO', 'DAWN', 'CAS', 'STA',
'MER1', 'RSTS', 'VGR1', 'MSL', 'ACE', 'KEPL','THC', 'GBRA'


Is this what's active at Mars now, or in the last few years at least?

• in DSN Now you can click on the abbreviation and get some info on the spacecraft in the sidebar. That should solve the problem for active missions. The /missions page should have a list of past missions. I checked the Internet Archive, but that doesn't have that page archived. – Hobbes Mar 8 '18 at 13:09

There's a list of the current missions that use the DSN (including their acronyms) at https://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/Pages/trackingtoday.html

As @Hobbes said in another answer, of the past missions CAS / CASS are probably Cassini, and MSRG would be Mercury Messenger. RSTS could be Rosetta. GBRA is apparently "either Network activities in radio astronomy, maintenance or systems development".

There's a good list of all the missions to Mars at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_missions_to_Mars which includes current status.

• Thank you for your help and quick turnaround! Can you take a look to see how this looks? – uhoh Mar 8 '18 at 14:50
• @uhoh yes, it looks right to me. – djr Mar 8 '18 at 18:55
• This is the answer that solved my problem, thanks! The CDSCC page was extremely helpful. – uhoh Mar 10 '18 at 15:37

In DSN Now you can click on the abbreviation and get some info on the spacecraft in the sidebar

From NASA's mission list:

CHDR: Chandra X-ray observatory
CASS: Cassini
(CAS could be Cassini as well, found no other missions it could fit)
DAWN: Dawn
GO17: GOES 17
KEPL: Kepler
MER: Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity (dunno which is which)
MSL: Mars Science Laboratory
M01O: Mars Odyssey
MVN: MAVEN
MSGR: Messenger
STA: STEREO A
THC: THEMIS C
VGR1/2: Voyager

that leaves RSTS.

• According to the link in my answer, STA is STEREO A. – djr Mar 8 '18 at 14:49
• Thank you for your help and quick turnaround! Can you take a look to see how this looks? – uhoh Mar 8 '18 at 14:50

The OP says:

I'm "mining" old DSN data and would like to see all communications with spacecraft around Mars.

and asks if the list of six missions is

...what's active at Mars now, or in the last few years at least?

Based on help from both @Hobes' answer and @djr's answer and especially the Canberra DSN page linked there, it looks like the items in a DSN data stream within the last few years that may be from Mars are the following:

M01O    Mars Odyssey                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Mars_Odyssey
MER 1   Mars Rover: Opportunity(1)      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_(rover)
MEX     Mars Express (ESA)              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Express
MOM     Mars Orbiter Mission (India)    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Orbiter_Mission
MRO     Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Reconnaissance_Orbiter
MSL     Mars Science Laboratory         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Science_Laboratory
Curiosity Mars Rover          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_(rover)
MVN     MAVEN: Mars atmosphere mission  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAVEN
TGO     Exo Mars Trace Gas Orbiter      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExoMars_Trace_Gas_Orbiter


For the three newest additions to the objects at mars, the following codes are used by DSN:

NSYT   Insight
MCOA   MarCO A
MCOB   MarCO B

• Thank you very much, and welcome to Space! – uhoh Nov 27 '18 at 1:09