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NASA Uses Laser To Beam Data from Nearly 10 Million Miles Away

NASA recently successfully conducted an experiment to transmit data via a near-infrared laser beam from its Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC). The DSOC is flying aboard the Psyche spacecraft, and the laser beam traveled from nearly 10 million miles away (about 40 times farther than the Moon is from Earth), to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County. The experiment was to ensure all of the linkages operated properly, and didn’t carry any data from the mission itself, only experimental data.

The Psyche spacecraft is en route to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and was launched on October 13, 2023.

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