NASA has fired a laser at an object 10 million miles away in deep space

NASA's Psyche spacecraft has fired a laser into the void of deep space at a metallic object located 10 million miles away from Earth.

1 minute & 55 seconds read time

NASA is revolutionizing how spacecraft communicate with a new experiment officially called Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC).

NASA has fired a laser at an object 10 million miles away in deep space 33612

According to a NASA blog post found on the NASA JPL website, DSOC has achieved "first light" by successfully sending data via laser to and from a metallic asteroid in deep space. The space agency reports that the milestone in deep space communications was achieved on November 14 when Psyche's flight laser transmitter, a next-gen device capable of sending/receiving near-infrared signals, locked onto a powerful uplink laser beacon transmitted from the Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory near Wrightwood, California.

Once the uplink was established, the transceiver was able to focus its downlink laser back at Caltech's Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California. The new communications technique enables higher-data-rate communications between ground-based systems and spacecrafts, which will be essential for humanity's next big leap; colonizing the surface of the moon and Mars.

Psyche spacecraft

Psyche spacecraft

"Achieving first light is a tremendous achievement. The ground systems successfully detected the deep space laser photons from DSOC," said Abi Biswas, the system's project technologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.

"And we were also able to send some data, meaning we were able to exchange 'bits of light' from and to deep space," added Biswas.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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