Space Communications

Mars Rover

QinetiQ’s capability in complex communications and information infrastructure has played a key part in supporting Mars exploration since 2003.

ESA’s Mars Express carried MELACOM, a QinetiQ transceiver, which monitored NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) through entry, descent and landing, sending information on its performance back to Earth.


After landing, the MELACOM radio receiver was used to transmit commands to the rover vehicle and relay science data and pictures back to Earth, alongside transceivers on NASA’s Odyssey and MRO satellites.

We’re currently developing the next generation of the UHF transceiver, which will be used as the communications system on the Mars landers for ESA’s ExoMars missions in 2016 and 2018.

Test Image
* Calls cost 10p per minute plus your telephone company's access charge
QinetiQ People Who Know How
Space Communications