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21st Nov 2023

Earth receives laser-beamed message from 10 million miles away

Ryan Grace

NASA says this could be a game changer…

A laser-beam message from millions of miles away has successfully reached Earth.

According to IFL Science, NASA has used laser beams like never before, shooting them beyond the moon and bouncing them back boomerang style.

It’s an experiment many believe could change space communication forever.

Scene with full moon and stars in the background (Source: Getty)

NASA experiment a glimpse at the future of space travel

NASA conducted the test last week on the Psyche spacecraft, which was launched into space to investigate an asteroid.

The spacecraft uses the agency’s first demonstration of optical communications beyond the Earth-Moon system called DSOC.

It can beam data using a flight laser transceiver, a ground laser transmitter, and a ground laser receiver.

A NASA graphic is seen inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility in 2018 (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Laser returning to Earth a ‘major breakthrough’

The demo was a success, achieving its “first light” from nearly 10 million miles away – 40 times farther than the Moon is from Earth.

Trudy Kortes is the director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

She hailed the return of the laser-beam message as a monumental success:

“Achieving first light is one of many critical DSOC milestones in the coming months, paving the way toward higher-data-rate communications capable of sending scientific information, high-definition imagery, and streaming video in support of humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars”

Optical communications have been sent from the Earth’s orbit before.

However this is by far the the furthest distance accomplished by laser beams.

This could change space travel forever and, as Trudy Kortes says, be a pivotal moment in mankind’s quest to travel to Mars.