NASA receives first-ever laser message on Earth from 16 mn km away! Know about DSOC experiment

NASA in October launched the Psyche mission to study a metal-rich asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The Psyche spacecraft was installed with a Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) tool which made a mind-blowing achievement by sending the first-ever laser message to Earth from 16 million kilometres afar. The communication message was part of an experiment which NASA was able to conduct successfully. Know more about the DSOC experiment here.

NASA DSOC experiment

According to a NASA report, the DSOC experiment shared a near-infrared laser which was encoded with test data to Earth from 16 million kilometres away. The distance is so massive that it is 40 times farther than the Moon is from Earth. NASA said, “This is the farthest-ever demonstration of optical communications.” The communication was established on November 14 with the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. The laser message took about 50 seconds from Psyche mission spacecraft to reach Earth.

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Trudy Kortes, director of Technology Demonstrations for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA said, “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.” NASA calls the laser message “first light” and the main objective of the mission was to achieve “closing the link” which was done by done simultaneously by uplink and downlink laser. This experiment’s primary objective is to test how a laser could help increase data transmission from deep space to communicate with missions that travel farther from the Moon. Additionally, its success can speed up data transmission rates 10 to 100 times faster than current radio frequency systems. The success of the mission will help scientists conduct deep space missions

The Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) is supported by the Technology Demonstration Missions (TDM) program under the Space Technology Mission Directorate and the SCaN program within the Space Operations Mission Directorate.

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