NASA confirms it was sent a video of a cat from 19 million miles in deep space

NASA has announced it has received a 15-second 4K video of a cat from 19 million miles, demonstrating new deep space communication capabilities.

1 minute & 42 seconds read time

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has confirmed it has successfully received a transmission from deep space that contains a 4K video of a cat.

The space agency took to its website to announce that its Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment that was conducted on December 11 was a success, marking a milestone achievement in deep space communications and a step forward in how humans relay information around the galaxy. The experiment consisted of streaming ultra-high-definition (4K) video from 19 million miles away.

The video was 15 seconds long and transmitted using a "cutting-edge" instrument called a "flight laser transceiver," which is integrated into NASA's Psyche spacecraft, currently located 20+ million miles away. The video was then fired at Earth from the Psyche spacecraft, taking 101 seconds to reach the planet. The 4K video of a cat was transmitted at the maximum bit rate of 267 megabits per second (Mbps).

"This accomplishment underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element to meeting our future data transmission needs," said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. "Increasing our bandwidth is essential to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement of this technology and the transformation of how we communicate during future interplanetary missions."

NASA confirms it was sent a video of a cat from 19 million miles in deep space 595914

Tests such as these represent NASA's effort to upgrade space communications, and the space agency expects that laser communications tested through its Psyche mission will push data rates in space up by 10 to 100 times than "state-of-the-art radio frequency systems used by deep space missions today."

"One of the goals is to demonstrate the ability to transmit broadband video across millions of miles. Nothing on Psyche generates video data, so we usually send packets of randomly generated test data," said Bill Klipstein, the tech demo's project manager at JPL. "But to make this significant event more memorable, we decided to work with designers at JPL to create a fun video, which captures the essence of the demo as part of the Psyche mission."

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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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