24 October 2013
NASA’s groundbreaking Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration aboard the LADEE spacecraft just accomplished a record-shattering data download rate of 622 megabits per second, a download rate six times faster than the most recent state-of-the-art radio system from the moon. In 2017, the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration is going to test the ability to relay data from one ground station at White Sands, N.M., to another at NASA JPL through a laser communications terminal in geostationary orbit. The 2017 mission will involve a commercial satellite that will transfer information between the ground and other missions in low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station. Eventually, this technology might help NASA stay in contact with very distant spacecraft. (Image: An artist's concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft seen orbiting near the surface of the moon. Image credit: NASA Ames / Dana Berry)
More Info > (The Washington Post)