The feat could one day allow humans to transmit video calls to Mars
It’s humanity close to a communications revolution? NASA has achieved a world first after sending a laser beam message to Earth from nearly 10 million miles (16 million kilometers) away within 50 seconds. This is about 40 times the distance from Earth to the Moon.
Although the US Aeronautics and Space Administration has long been able to communicate with spacecraft using radio waves, never been able to send information before using lasers from so far into space.
The feat, achieved using NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experimental optical technology system aboard the Psyche spacecraft, could one day allow for humans to broadcast video calls to Mars, comments Business Insider.
The DSOC system operates using an observatory in California, which essentially acts as a lighthouse. The Psyche ship then locks onto him, and is able to orient its transceiver and point the ship’s laser at a separate observatory capable of decoding the signals. It can send light particles, also known as photons, to the Earth observatory.
The system is able to transmit information 10 to 100 times faster from current space communications equipment, according to a NASA press release issued Thursday.
NASA managed to beam laser radiation from the vast expanse of space to Southern California in a historic event last week.
The signals were received by the Hale Telescope in San Diego County, California, within about 50 seconds.
NASA’s unmanned Psyche spacecraft, which launched in Octoberis on a mission to explore a metal-rich comet between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt in 2028, the Daily Mail reports.
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