It took just 50 seconds to travel 10 million miles (16 million kilometers)
NASA has successfully received data from a record-breaking distance using laser, or optical, communications. This achievement marks a pivotal moment in space exploration and communication technology.
Upon reaching Earth, the laser signal is captured by a superconducting high-efficiency detector array. it took just 50 seconds to travel 10 million miles This sophisticated receiver identifies individual photons as they arrive and decodes the data they carry. Despite the signal traveling at the speed of light, accurately targeting a laser signal to a receiver on Earth from vast distances poses a considerable challenge.
The successful test opens avenues for future communication capable of transmitting high-definition video messages to and from distant celestial bodies, reducing delays in data transmission.
That’s about 40 times farther than the moon is from Earth, and it’s the first time that optical communications have been sent across such a distance.
Traditional radio waves have limitations, and the utilization of higher frequencies of light, particularly near-infrared, presents an opportunity to significantly enhance data speed and bandwidth.
Traditionally, the space agency uses radio waves to talk to distance spacecraft but higher frequencies of light, such as near infrared, offer an increase in bandwidth and therefore a huge boost in data speed. It has never before been able to send information using lasers from that far into space.
The system is capable of beaming information 10 to 100 times faster than current space-communications equipment, according to a press release published Thursday.
A researcher has claimed that contacting aliens can be made possible by shooting out a laser light in space. An MIT researcher James Clark published a study in which he claimed that a laser space beacon detectable up to 20,000 light years away, acting as a ‘porch light’ for extraterrestrial life can help us contact aliens.If there are aliens out there, they might be able to spot the signal from Earth. Also, the study published in The Astrophysical Journal, states that we could also send a Morse code-style message with the help of the laser by using pulses.
As we are digging deeper into space, scientists believe that there are aliens out there and will soon send us signals. Many people also claim that they have seen UFOs, which validate that aliens do exist.
If we’re going to eventually be able to send high definition video messages to and from Mars without a significant delay, then this is a step towards the tech we need.
The laser transceiver, situated on the Psyche spacecraft, made the historic connection with the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California while hurtling through space at very high speeds.
As the Psyche spacecraft continues its mission, further tests will refine this near-infrared laser communication method, ensuring its speed and reliability for future deep space endeavors.
Michio Kaku, an American theoretical physicist and futurist said that the new technologies will take us deeper into planets and stars and will also lead us closer in making contact with alien life, he wrote in ‘The Future of Humanity’.