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A ground station, earth station, or earth terminal is a terrestrial radio station designed for extraplanetary telecommunication with spacecraft, or reception of radio waves from an astronomical radio source. Ground stations are located either on the surface of the Earth or in its atmosphere. Earth stations communicate with spacecraft by transmitting and receiving radio waves in the super high frequency or extremely high frequency bands (e.g., microwaves). When a ground station successfully transmits radio waves to a spacecraft (or vice versa), it establishes a telecommunications link. A principal telecommunications device of the ground station is the parabolic antenna.