NASA is en route to create high-speed internet that can be utilized in space in future when astronauts are sent to deep space missions.
NASA will work with Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) to create better and more efficient laser communication system capable of providing high-speed internet. They will also have bigger data space for scientific data downlink and faster communication system with the astronaut.
NASA will get to learn a lot of things about high-speed internet in optical communications from LCRD. This new technology that LCRD offers will provide NASA to make the mission to Mars easier and faster. The space agency is currently uses Radio Frequency (RF) communications systems which are slower and much larger than laser communications. According to NASA, optical communications encode data onto a beam of light that is transferred to the spacecraft and then to NASA’s Earth offices. Not only will Laser communications travel faster, but also require less power and energy and lesser space in the spacecraft.
LCRD will test the optical communication systems through various different weather conditions to know whether they can function well in space and on Mars. High-speed internet facility will also be exposed to extreme atmospherical conditions before trying it in NASA.
This new technology will enable NASA to explore near- Earth and deep space missions better and faster. Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and the man who is leading the LCRD’s project; said that this technology has the potential to revolutionalize space communications and that they are super-excited to partner with Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s Space Communications and Navigations Program office, MIT Lincoln Labs and the U.S. Air Force on this effort.
Such capabilities will become critically important as humans wish to embark upon long journeys to the Moon, Mars and beyond!