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Sunday, April 21, 2024

NASA Uses Lasers to Share Cute Cat Videos Across the Vastness of Space

NASA sent a super clear video of a cat from deep space back to Earth. Taters the cat’s quick 15-second video was sent using lasers, and it perfectly shows Taters chasing a laser beam.

The footage featuring the orange tabby covered an impressive distance of 19 million miles during its transmission—a remarkable achievement that surpasses the Earth-to-Moon distance by approximately 80 times. This remarkable journey highlights the incredible reach of the communication technology employed in beaming the video across vast cosmic expanses.

NASA is currently testing advanced laser technology to enhance communication throughout the solar system. The focus is on improving connectivity with remote regions, paving the way for more effective data transmission and exploration of distant sectors.

Discover Taters, the delightful Earth-bound companion owned by a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) employee in California. Launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on October 13 via SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the video was later streamed on December 11.

Even though it sent the video from millions of miles away, the spacecraft managed to do it faster than most internet connections,” explained Ryan Rogalin, the electronics lead at JPL. The Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory received and downloaded the video before swiftly streaming it to JPL, where it played in real-time.

In an unexpected turn of events, Mr. Rogalin noted that the link carrying the video from the Palomar Observatory to the JPL base actually displayed a slower pace than the signal directly transmitting the clip from the cosmos.

The team at JPL’s DesignLab did a fantastic job helping us showcase this technology. Taters, our adorable companion, has become a favorite among everyone,” he added.

Crafted by Bill Klipstein, the project manager at JPL, the video is designed to enhance the memorability of this significant event. It features graphics showcasing technical mission details, alongside charming insights into Taters’ breed, heart rate, and age.

Nasa is on an exciting mission called Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC), exploring communication beyond what we’re used to with Earth and the Moon. It’s their first step in figuring out how to connect with far-off celestial places.

The DSOC mission is all about finding better ways to send lots of data, like high-quality images and videos, from deep space to Earth. This is because radio frequencies are struggling to handle the huge amount of data needed for transmitting such content over long distances.

“This success underscores our dedication to pushing forward optical communications to meet our upcoming data needs,” remarked Nasa’s deputy administrator, Pam Melroy.

Boosting our bandwidth is key to realizing our exploration and scientific goals. We’re eagerly looking forward to the ongoing progress of this technology, which is set to transform how we communicate during future interplanetary missions.

The video is accessible for viewing on the YouTube platform.

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