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  • Writer's pictureAngus Stewart

NASA uses space lasers to transmit cat video

Space laser cat Made by Dall-e AI

NASA has a problem. The proposed manned mission to Mars would be extremely difficult if it relied on current communications technology, as the time taken to send and receive messages would be prohibitive. However, new technology, using lasers to transmit video, has been able to send a video from 40 times the distance to the moon at speeds equivalent to household Wifi.

The cat video (see below) was sent back to Earth from a NASA spacecraft located far beyond the Moon using an advanced laser communication system. The 15-second clip showed a cat named Tater chasing a laser dot and reached NASA computers over a distance of nearly 19 million miles with relatively low latency.

The signal took only 101 seconds to reach Earth at a maximum bit rate of 267 megabits per second, which is faster than many US internet connections. This achievement was made possible by the experimental optical communication system called DSOC that sends data over vast expanses of space using near-infrared lasers.

The video itself was uploaded to the Psyche craft before its launch in October and was successfully transmitted from a distance of nearly 10 million miles away during another test conducted by NASA last month.


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