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NASA used a laser to send the cute cat video back to Earth from deep space 31 million kilometers away, in only 101 seconds.

2024-04-23 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >


Shulou( Report--, December 20 (Xinhua)-- humans have once again shown incredible creativity, this time sending a video of a cat named Taters back to Earth from deep space. Behind this feat lies a major breakthrough in deep space exploration communication technology.

On December 11, the Deep Space Optical Communications experiment (DSOC), conducted jointly by NASA and JPL, ushered in a historic moment: ultra-high definition video signals from Tudou chasing a laser pen 1900 million miles away were successfully sent back to Earth.

The experiment was carried out on NASA's Psyche probe, which was launched on October 13 on a SpaceX Falcon heavy rocket and is on its way to 16 Psyche, a strange metal asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Although it may seem unexpected to showcase the groundbreaking technology with a cute cat video, the NASA leadership says the experiment has laid an important foundation for deep space exploration. "increasing bandwidth is critical to achieving our future exploration and scientific goals, and we look forward to the sustainable development of this technology and revolutionize the way we communicate in future interstellar missions," Pam Melroy, deputy director of NASA, said in a statement.

Tudou's video is transmitted through a new flying laser transceiver developed by JPL, which sends the signal as a near-infrared laser beam to the Haier Telescope at the Palomar Observatory at the California Institute of Technology. The signal travels at 267 megabits per second (Mbps) and takes 101 seconds to reach Earth. By contrast, the average broadband speed is about 219 Mbps in the US and 92 Mbps in the UK, according to the report.

"despite the transmission distance of tens of millions of kilometers, this technology can still send video faster than most broadband Internet connections," Ryan Rogarin, the chief scientist who receives electronic equipment for the project, said in a JPL statement. "in fact, after receiving the video, we send it to JPL via the Internet, which turns out to be slower than the signal from deep space!"

The flying laser transceiver conducted its first dawn test in November, when it sent signals to Earth from 1000 million miles (16 million kilometers) away. So far, the instrument has sent mostly random packets in its tests, but JPL scientists hope to inject a bit of fun into the landmark demonstration.

The Psyche probe is currently moving towards the Mars flyby program in 2026, when it will take several images of Mars. After that, the probe will continue to its main target, 16 Psyche, and is expected to arrive in 2029.

The video of a cat traversing the universe from hundreds of millions of kilometers away has not only brought joy to the earth, but also opened a new door of optical communication for deep space exploration.

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