You might be super impressed at how you can enjoy a Netflix movie these days when it streams at a big 10 mbps. Hey, if you’re lucky you might even be able to live in a place that boasts a 20 mbps rate. I’ve even seen some internet providers promise a 50 mbps service. That sounds great, right? Well, it has nothing on what NASA just established…to the moon!
By using lasers instead of radio waves, NASA was recently able to establish a 622 mbps data connection from its home base in New Mexico to a satellite orbiting the moon 239,000 miles away. This smashes recent attempts to send data into space. One such attempt to send a picture of the Mona Lisa reached just 300 bits per second. It also demonstrated an error-free connection at 20 mbps.
The recent demonstration by the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration is a proof of concept that we can now establish a connection into space that can handle the large quantities of data that the agency will require in the future.
The goal of the LLCD is to establish itself as a viable resource that can be used in future missions into space. “LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication capability,” said Badri Younes, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation (SCaN) in Washington.
For more information on the LLCD visit this site: http://llcd.gsfc.nasa.gov/