With a funny cat video, you'll hit the mark in almost every group chat. Nowadays, videos are also becoming popular in space. NASA recently beamed a video of cats back to Earth. But why exactly?
The 15-second clip from Taters the Cat was broadcast via laser. In the video, the cat chases a laser beam, in pure style. Images of taters have traveled millions of kilometres.
Taters is an employee cat at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. But why was his video actually launched into space? This is the situation.
NASA cat video
The video was uploaded to a spacecraft on October 13. This spacecraft was launched on October 11 on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. The rocket was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to NASA, the cat's video was sent 12 million miles from Earth. This equates to about 31 million kilometres.
The video was received by the huge Hale telescope. It is located at Palomar Observatory where it was downloaded. From there it was broadcast to JPL and played back in real time. It took only 101 seconds for the video to reach Earth.
The Taters were part of an important mission
The adorable cat was part of NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) mission. The space organization looked at how to make communication in space easier. Ordinary radio signals have difficulty transmitting a lot of data over large distances. So they're looking for better ways to do it at higher transfer speeds.
Pam Milroy, NASA's deputy administrator, said this achievement underscores their commitment to communications in space. The mission shows that there are many possibilities in this field in the future. NASA hopes that the cat video will change the way we communicate in the future.
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