Cats are the protagonists of the first video broadcast from deep space


Cats. The undisputed masters of social media on Earth, they are now also the first “colonizers” of telecommunications from Deep space. AND video High-definition video of orange and white tabby tatters hunting for a bright spot on the sofa went viral 31 million kilometersfrom the Psyche probe to our planet, in just 101 seconds. As? Through a high speed laser communication system: a test that NASA conducted in preparation for future long-range manned space missions.

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The meow-see (play on words between cat cries – “meow” – and the word “film”) 15 seconds was sent at speed 267 megabits per second through a Deep Space Optical Communications (Dsoc) laser transceiver installed on Psychea NASA probe heading toward the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Encoded near infraredreceived the clip Hale’s telescope from the Mount Palomar Observatory in San Diego County and then retransmitted to Current drive laboratory (JPL) of NASA in Southern California. The funny thing, JPL’s Ryan Rogalin reported, is that the link from Palomar to JPL was slower than the signal from deep space.


The experiment represents a basic stage in the plans of NASA, which is preparing for the future long range manned missionslike the ones above Mars. Laser transmissions of this type have been carried out before, but from much shorter distances, all the way to the moon.

This one that featured a tater tots cat it is the first from Deep Space and required considerable technical measuresespecially the extreme accuracy of the pointing, which had to take into account the fact that both the Psyche probe and the Earth would move during the transmission.

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Previous tests used random data packets, but for this first deep space transmission experiment, NASA wanted something more substantial. THE cats they were always there star in history of telecommunications: not only are they the main protagonists of today’s memes and viral videos, but the cat (or rather the Felix the Cat figurine) was test image of the first television broadcast in the United States in 1928.


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