June 15, 2024

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Earth receives a laser message sent from 16 million kilometers away

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An experiment conducted by NASA could revolutionize the way spacecraft communicate with our planet. Specifically, the test was carried out through the Psyche probe, which was more than 16 million kilometers away at the time of sending the message. To illustrate the distance between the sender and the receiver, it is sufficient to mention that the Moon is ‘just’ 384,400 kilometers away.

The technology used is called the Deep Space Optical Communications System (DSOC). The instrument emitted a coded infrared laser containing information about the exact position of the Psyche probe. Its destination was a beacon located at the Hale Telescope, situated at the Palomar Observatory of Caltech in California, United States.

According to Trudy Kortes, director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA, this unprecedented achievement will pave the way for “higher-speed communications, enabling the transmission of scientific information, especially in the form of high-definition images and videos.” She also emphasizes that it will represent “a significant breakthrough for humanity in its goal of reaching Mars.”

It is worth remembering that NASA’s Psyche probe became famous for its mission to explore the asteroid of the same name, which is estimated to contain minerals valued at 10,000 trillion dollars, although the exact figure is impossible to determine with certainty. It is not surprising that it is popularly known as ‘the gold asteroid.’ Never before had a precise laser communication been achieved beyond Earth’s orbit.

Published by IRAIC.INFO, news and information agency.

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