Earth received a message from 10 million miles away, but it was not ET
how this For a long distance call?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was able to send a laser beam from the vast swaths of space to Southern California in a historic event last week.
It’s also a big step toward sending astronauts to Mars.
NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) fires an infrared laser — encoded with data for testing — 10 million miles from Earth in about 50 seconds.
The photon was emitted by NASA’s unmanned spacecraft, which launched in October and is on a larger mission to explore a metal-filled comet between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt in 2028.
The breakthrough — transmitted to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego — is the most distant demonstration of optical communications ever, according to NASA.
Putting this into perspective, the Moon is only 238,900 miles from our pale blue dot.
It achieved what space experts called “first light” early on November 14 when its high-tech laser transceiver successfully reached another NASA facility in the Golden State. After linking up with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory facility outside Los Angeles, the laser was then able to precisely focus its path southward to San Diego.
The successful laser blast is a useful step toward getting closer to in-person deep space exploration, according to NASA’s technology demonstration manager, Trudy Curtis.
“Achieving first light is one of many important milestones for DSOC in the coming months, paving the way toward higher data rate communications capable of sending scientific information, high-definition images and video streaming to support humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Earth.” Mars.”
This comes after an achievement achieved by the Mars Perseverance spacecraft, which converted the unbreathable air on the planet into oxygen.
Researchers also believe they have found the building blocks of life on Earth.
Another key element is that the test data was sent to Earth and received in space through a process called uplink — a laser transmitted from the DSOC telescope laboratory — and downlink to the Palomar Observatory. The process of transmitting signals to Earth from the satellite takes about 20 minutes.
“It was a huge challenge, and we have a lot of work to do, but for a short time, we were able to send, receive and decrypt some data,” said Meera Srinivasan, DSOC operations lead.
The ultimate goal is to transmit 100 times more data than the highly sophisticated radio frequency systems used in testing. Once this is achieved, NASA will not only be able to assist human and robotic missions, but will also send high-precision instruments into deep space for study.
“Optical communication is a boon for scientists and researchers who always want more from their space missions, and will enable human exploration of deep space,” said Dr. Jason Mitchell, director of NASA’s Advanced Communications and Navigation Technologies Division.
“More data means more discoveries.”