Because NASA made a video of a cat playing in space


AGI – NASA filmed a video of a cat playing in space. It’s not about entertaining aliens like they’re compulsive YouTubers, it’s about an experiment – Deep Space Optical Communications – to see how long it takes for an ultra high definition video stream to travel through space. On December 11, the images crossed a record distance of 31 million kilometers – 80 times the Earth-Moon distance.

“Increasing our bandwidth is critical to achieving our future research and science goals,” said Pam Melroy, Nasamu’s deputy administrator, “and we look forward to continuing to advance this technology and transform the way we communicate for future interplanetary missions.” A 15-second test video was transmitted via the flight laser transceiver. The video signal took 101 seconds to reach Earth and was sent at a maximum system speed of 267 megabits per second (Mbps).

The instrument sent a coded laser to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, where it was unloaded. Each frame of the looped video was then sent “live” to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California where the video was played in real time.

The laser communications demonstration, which launched with NASA’s Psyche mission on Oct. 13, is designed to transmit data from deep space at speeds 10 to 100 times faster than the state-of-the-art radio frequency systems used in today’s deep space missions. As Psyche travels toward the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, it will transmit high-speed signals to the Red Planet’s farthest distance from Earth.

In doing so, it paves the way for higher-data-rate communications capable of sending complex scientific information, high-resolution images and video to support humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars. “One of the goals is to demonstrate the ability to transmit broadband video over millions of kilometers. “Nothing on Psyche generates video data, so we typically send packets of randomly generated test data,” said Bill Klipstein, project manager of the technology demo at JPL.

“However, to make this momentous event even more memorable, we decided to work with JPL designers to create a fun video that captures the essence of the Psyche mission demo.”

A short ultra-high-definition video recorded before launch shows an orange cat named Taters, a JPL employee’s pet, chasing a laser pointer.

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