NASA Takes First Steps toward High-Speed Space “Internet”

Megalith

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In order to keep astronauts sane with high-quality Netflix and YouTube, NASA is testing speedy internet between the ISS and Earth with the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD). As you could probably assume, the space agency is going to use lasers for data transmission, and such tests will show them how to best go about it.

Laser communications, also known as optical communications, encodes data onto a beam of light, which is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to Earth terminals. This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems. Just as important, laser communication systems can be much smaller than radio systems, allowing the spacecraft communication systems to have lower size, weight and power requirements. Such capability will become critically important as humans embark on long journeys to the moon, Mars and beyond.
 

katanaD

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LOL imagine trying to watch something via netflix and getting region locked errors every 20 minutes as you orbit over such regions
 

wyqtor

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Hope they will use them lasers to beam me Internets on my 8 hr+ flights!
 

Kaitian

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LOL imagine trying to watch something via netflix and getting region locked errors every 20 minutes as you orbit over such regions
Uhh satellites are typically in a fixed geosynchronous orbit that matches the rotation of the Earth ie Dish TV or DirecTV. What NASA is doing is an experiment within the window they have to work with. It's not a big deal that you're making it out to be. If it turns out to be feasible, then companies in the future can use this finding and implement it in new geosynchronous satellites.
 

Galvin

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Cool this will make it possible to mine bitcoin in space. Be the first space coins!
 

serpretetsky

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Uhh satellites are typically in a fixed geosynchronous orbit that matches the rotation of the Earth ie Dish TV or DirecTV. What NASA is doing is an experiment within the window they have to work with. It's not a big deal that you're making it out to be. If it turns out to be feasible, then companies in the future can use this finding and implement it in new geosynchronous satellites.
ISS is not geosynchronous. Geosynchronous orbit is actually really far away compared to ISS.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/Orbitalaltitudes.jpg
 

serpretetsky

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I'm aware that the ISS is not geosynchronous. That's why I said "What NASA is doing is an experiment within the window they have to work with."
Parden the confusion. KatanaD was referring to the ISS and MegaLith's comment on astronauts in the ISS getting netflix. So your comment didn't really make sense to me in that context.
 

Kaitian

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Parden the confusion. KatanaD was referring to the ISS and MegaLith's comment on astronauts in the ISS getting netflix. So your comment didn't really make sense to me in that context.
I wouldn't put any weight into anything Megalith says on a side comment. Most of those tend to be factitious.
 

Xrave

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The ISS test is to actually test the laser data concept for deep space missions. If it works well then it will get adopted onto probes for outer solar system exploration, making it much easier to get more data back from those missions. The other nifty benefit is lower overall power to transmit the laser than RF over huge distances.
 
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