TechNASA's new achievement: Streaming a cat video with laser from deep space

NASA's new achievement: Streaming a cat video with laser from deep space

"Recording with a cat that covered 31 million km"
"Recording with a cat that covered 31 million km"
Images source: © Adobe Stock, NASA

12:24 PM EST, December 20, 2023

The historic video, transmitted through NASA's technology from deep space, lasted 15 seconds. Scientists encoded it in a near-infrared laser beam and sent it from the Psyche mission spacecraft. It's important to remember that this isn't the first time that the probe has contributed to important scientific achievements. As early as November of the previous year, NASA reported a positive result of a new laser communication system test, during which the DSOC system created a laser beam that covered a distance of approximately 9.9 million miles.

The achievement from November is expected to revolutionize communication methods with spacecraft, according to scientists. The ability to send video recordings in space is also anticipated to be of significant importance to science.

It took the laser beam 101 seconds to cover the distance of 19.3 million miles, the agency reports. NASA's Pam Melroy highlights that "this accomplishment underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element to meeting our future data transmission needs." An increase in data transmission bandwidth is expected to assist in achieving goals related to space exploration and scientific discoveries. NASA has already confirmed their continuous efforts to develop interplanetary communication technology.

Compared to previously used radio waves, the laser system utilized by scientists to send messages into space is currently a much more efficient, faster, and interference-resistant tool. In contrast to older technology, laser beams permit data transmission at speeds up to a hundred times faster.

See the recording that covered 31 million km:

Recall that the Psyche mission probe, which is being utilized for this interplanetary communication, has been in space since October of the previous year and is envisaged to reach its destination in 2029. During this period, NASA is employing the object in motion in space to conduct tests of systems like the one featuring Taters the cat in the recording.

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