Space laser transmission hits Earth from 140 million miles away: NASA

This redefined long-distance calling.

Earth has just received a laser transmission from a record-breaking world (and possibly universe) 140 million miles away, which could have major implications for the future of space travel.

However, these communications were not extraterrestrial in origin: they were actually sent by NASA's Psyche spacecraft, which is currently located at approximately 1.5 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.

“This represents an important milestone for the project by demonstrating how optical communications can interface with the spacecraft's radio frequency communications system,” Meera Srinivasan, project operations leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said. He said in a statement.

Earth has just received a laser transmission from a record-breaking world (and possibly universe) 140 million miles away, which could have major implications for the future of space travel.  Alexander Marco – Stock.adobe.com

Earth has just received a laser transmission from a record-breaking world (and possibly universe) 140 million miles away, which could have major implications for the future of space travel. Alexander Marco – Stock.adobe.com

This visualization shows the position of the Psyche spacecraft on April 8 when the DSOC aeronautical laser transceiver transmitted data at a rate of 25 megabits per second over a range of 140 million miles to a downlink station on Earth.  NASA/JPL-CaltechThis visualization shows the position of the Psyche spacecraft on April 8 when the DSOC aeronautical laser transceiver transmitted data at a rate of 25 megabits per second over a range of 140 million miles to a downlink station on Earth.  NASA/JPL-Caltech

This visualization shows the position of the Psyche spacecraft on April 8 when the DSOC aeronautical laser transceiver transmitted data at a rate of 25 megabits per second over a range of 140 million miles to a downlink station on Earth. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This breakthrough was achieved using a Psyche feature called Deep Space Optical Communications, or DSOC, one of several tasks the robot performs each time. Space.com website. Its main direction is to explore 16 psychology, The asteroid worth $100,000 From him he takes his name.

NASA wanted to show that laser communications could be made across interstellar distances, allowing high-bandwidth and much faster communication — 10 to 100 times faster than what is available today — between humans and the probes they send into space.

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This achievement was of particular importance, as in addition to sending the laser message over a record distance, NASA was also able to transmit the actual data collected from the spacecraft.

“We delivered about 10 minutes of duplicate spacecraft data,” Srinivasan explained. “Until then, we were sending test and diagnostic data on our downlinks from Psyche.”

It is worth noting that in November last year, Psyche was sent to Earth from 10 million miles away, but it was pre-loaded test data and did not contain any “real” information.

NASA wrote that this watershed moment provides a glimpse into how spacecraft like Psyche (pictured) can NASA wrote that this watershed moment provides a glimpse into how spacecraft like Psyche (pictured) can

This watershed moment provides a glimpse into how spacecraft like Psyche (pictured) could “use optical communications to support humanity's next giant leap: sending humans to Mars,” NASA wrote. NASA/Ben Smigelsky

This was the culmination of a series of messages sent by the probe since its launch on October 13 aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket.

During a previous beta trial in December, Psyche sent data from a distance of 19 million miles, sending it at a maximum system rate of 267 megabits per second.

This correspondence – which included footage of an orange cat called Taters – took just over a minute and a half to reach Earth, which is similar to broadband Internet speeds.

By contrast, this latest DSOC transmission was only 25Mbit. This is due to the fact that Psyche was seven times farther away, which reduced the speed at which he could send and receive messages.

Despite the relatively low speed, this obscured the project's goal of “demonstrating the possibility of reaching at least 1 Mbps at that distance,” according to the statement.

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This watershed moment provides a glimpse into how spacecraft “could use optical communications to support humanity's next giant leap: sending humans to Mars,” NASA wrote.

Psyche is scheduled to fly around the Red Planet by 2026, and then fly toward its main destination, Psyche 16, which should arrive by 2029.

As with the early pioneers' search for the Northwest Passage, the goal is to map this final El Dorado frontier, which contains… Enough precious metals to crash the gold market.

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