NASA sent a high quality video of a cat from a distance of about 31 million kilometers from Earth. The 15-second video took 101 seconds to be sent to Earth.
A video featuring a cat named Taters was sent back from nearly 31 million kilometers away by NASA’s laser communication demonstration, marking a historic milestone.
NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications experiment broadcast ultra-high resolution video from a record distance of 31 million kilometers, or about 80 times the Earth-Moon distance.
“This achievement underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element in meeting our future data transfer needs,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy.
“Increasing our bandwidth is critical to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement of this technology and the transformation of how we communicate during future interplanetary missions.
The 15-second test video was transmitted by a state-of-the-art instrument called a flight laser transceiver.
The video signal, sent at the system’s maximum bit rate of 267 megabits per second (Mbps), took 101 seconds to reach Earth.
The craft, which can send and receive near-infrared signals, beamed an encoded near-infrared laser to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California, where it was downloaded.
Each frame of the looping video was then sent “live” to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the video was played back in real time.