In the same vein as the question What's the largest aperture telescope sent beyond the Earth-Moon system?, I'd like to ask, what's the largest area antenna dish sent beyond the Earth-Moon system?

If there's an array of dipoles that I don't know about that has a larger collecting area sent beyond the Earth-Moon system, that would be okay too.


I haven't made an exhaustive survey, but I checked the major outer-planets missions.

The Galileo spacecraft was designed with a 4.6-meter diameter high-gain folding dish antenna which was supposed to deploy somewhat like a folding umbrella; however, it jammed and didn't deploy fully, and the mission had to rely on a smaller antenna. I believe this is the biggest dish antenna flown to interplanetary space.

The runner-up and thus largest successful interplanetary dish would be Cassini's 4-meter HGA.

Voyager 1 & 2's HGA dishes were 3.7 meters; Pioneers 10-11 2.74 meters; New Horizons 2.1 meters.

Russia/fUSSR and China don't seem to have attempted anything past Mars, and I'm assuming that inner-planet missions don't need such large dishes, but it's possible that I've overlooked something.

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    $\begingroup$ Over the last few years I've noticed your answers come faster and faster. I'm wondering if you've somehow finally managed to memorize all of the space stuff? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 1 '18 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ I believe Galileo's antenna was identical to those used on the original TDRSs, all of which worked OK. If only it hadn't had to sit around for so long..... nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/services/networks/tdrs_first_gen $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 1 '18 at 21:31

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