A message from a ship 16 million kilometers from Earth has successfully arrived

“NASA’s Psyche spacecraft is on display in a clean room at the Astrotech Space Operations facility near the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 8, 2022. The gold-clad flight laser transceiver can be seen near the center, at DSOC. The spacecraft.

Photo: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

It’s been 39 days since the successful launch of the Psyche mission, which aims to explore a metallic asteroid that bears the same name as the mission. This board has an infrared laser Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) Experiment. (We recommend: Colombia and the dream of nuclear power are back on the table)

It’s been 39 days since the successful launch of the Psyche mission, which aims to explore a metallic asteroid that bears the same name as the mission. This board has an infrared laser Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) Experiment. (We recommend: Colombia and the dream of nuclear power are back on the table)

From there, 16 million kilometers from Earth, the spacecraft sent a laser-encoded message to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California, USA, as it traveled back and forth from the Moon about 20 times.

It is the most successful long-distance optical communication in history and according to the US space agency (NASA), it could be the first step towards a revolution in this type of communication in space.

“Achieving first light is one of several important DSOC milestones in the coming months, paving the way for high-data-rate communications that can deliver scientific information, high-definition images and streaming video in support of humanity’s next big leap: sending humans to Mars,” said a technical briefing at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Director Trudy Cortez explained. (You may also be interested in: Why is there a short circuit between science and non-experts?)

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The mission aims to reach the asteroid belts of Mars and Jupiter and study their surfaces. During the two years of the mission, the laser is planned to send different types of messages, which are expected to improve optical communications.

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