Curiosity Speaks and Orbiters Listen
This chart illustrates how NASA's Curiosity rover talks to Earth. While the rover can send direct messages, it communicates more efficiently with the help of spacecraft in orbit, including NASA's Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the European Space Agency's Mars Express. NASA's Deep Space Network of antennae across the globe receive the transmissions, and send them to the Mars Science Laboratory mission operations center at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech