March 4, 2024

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From the depths of space, NASA sends a video of cats back to Earth

From the depths of space, NASA sends a video of cats back to Earth

A video of a cat named Taters was sent back to Earth using laser beams by NASA from a distance of approximately 31 million kilometers, marking a milestone.

For the first time, NASA sent video from space to Earth via laser beams. It's a super clear video of cats that traveled 31 million kilometers (80 times the distance between the Moon and Earth). NASA talks about an important milestone.

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It should be faster

Satellites collect more and more data, and during future human missions to the Moon and Mars, a lot of information will also have to be transmitted to Earth. Radio waves are currently still the standard method of communication, but NASA wants to switch to lasers. Lasers have a higher frequency and can therefore transmit more data at the same time. This makes communication faster, and according to NASA, this is essential for future manned space missions.

But lasers also bring with them a lot of problems, for example, the laser beam is much narrower than the beam of radio waves. Therefore the transmitter and receiver must be exactly parallel, which is difficult over large distances. However, NASA is increasingly succeeding in dealing with this.

Space communication is faster than the Internet

The cat video is proof of that and was proof of that Aviation laser transceiver. This laser communication system is part of spiritIt is a satellite heading to an asteroid of the same name, 3.5 billion kilometers from Earth. The system sent near-infrared laser beams from a distance of 31 million kilometers to the Hale Telescope on Mount Palomar in California. The 15-second video took 101 seconds to reach Earth, at a speed of 267 megabits per second. success.

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“After the video was received by the Hale Telescope, it was sent over the Internet to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,” Ryan Rogalin, project leader, said in a press release. “This communication was slower than the signal coming from space.”

The cat video was not random

The star of the short, crystal-clear video is Taters the orange cat, the pet of a NASA employee. In the video, Taters is, appropriately, chasing a laser pointer. Overlaid images show various features of the demonstration, such as Psyche's orbit, the dome of the Hale telescope, and technical information about the laser and bit rate. The tater's heart rate, color and race are also shown.

The Psyche satellite does not produce videos itself, so a video was uploaded prior to launch. The selection of the cat video was not random. In 1928 a statuette of L Cartoon character Felix the Cat It appeared in the first test broadcast on television. Furthermore, cat videos are among the most popular content online today.

sources: NASA, IFLScience

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech