Canberra will be soon be able to communicate further into the universe with Tidbinbilla's newest communication antenna, known as Deep Space Station 35, due to be lifted into place on Friday morning.
The 34-metre dish has cost $US55 million, and taken about three years to build, but is just half of NASA's latest investment in the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, with another dish to be built as part of an expansion of its network.
It will join the existing 70-metre dish and two other 34-metre dishes at the site, expanding the scope of NASA's only southern hemisphere communication centre.
''The technology gives us greater flexibility, more pointing accuracy [and] can communicate across a higher range of frequencies than the big dish is currently capable of,'' said Glen Nagle, spokesman for the station.
The new antenna, DSS35, is due to go online next year, in time to help track NASA's New Horizons mission before the spacecraft arrives at Pluto, roughly 5 billion kilometres from Earth.
''We have three stations, California, here and Spain, so as the Earth turns there's always one station in the field of view of every spacecraft that's out there,'' Mr Nagle said.
''[The antennas'] work is communication - transmitting commands to spacecraft so they know where to go, what to do and, of course, [there are] receivers to collect that information.
''Through our centre and through NASA's jet propulsion laboratories, we are able to process that data and get it off to thousands of scientists right around the world.''
NASA is tracking about 40 spacecraft on various missions, a number which is not set to fall, despite financial pressures in the US.
''There are so many other nations around the world that are busy currently exploring the solar system, new spacecraft from the European space agency, more missions planned by the Russians, Japan, India and we'll be involved in probably a majority of those missions - and there's a lot of work yet to be done.''
There is a lot more work on the ground to be done with DSS35, too.
Assembling and lifting the dish - estimated to weigh about 100 tonnes - has been no small feat.
''The structure's been turning up in what I call a big Meccano set and contractors … have been assembling the whole structure, assembling the reflector ready to do the lift on Friday,'' civil technician David True said.
The crane that will do the lifting took 42 semi-trailers to deliver to the site, but should take only a couple of hours to put the reflector in place. Webcams will broadcast pictures of the construction on the NASA website every minute.