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NASA Beams Hi-Def Video From Space Via Laser

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the beam-it-down dept.

ISS 38

An anonymous reader writes "NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument. Transmission of 'Hello, World!' as a video message was the first 175-megabit communication for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), a technology demonstration that allows NASA to test methods for communication with future spacecraft using higher bandwidth than radio waves." Last September, NASA's LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) showed that they could supply a lunar colony with broadband via lasers.

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"using higher bandwidth than radio waves" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190183)

What wavelengths get through without attenuation/distortion, then?

Re:"using higher bandwidth than radio waves" (2)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about 2 months ago | (#47190535)

What wavelengths get through without attenuation/distortion, then?

1550nm, which is the same range used in long-range optical fiber transmission.

More info on the projects linked from http://esc.gsfc.nasa.gov/267.h... [nasa.gov]

And for the next test... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 2 months ago | (#47190217)

10 PRINT"Hello World!";
20 GOTO 10

Giant Lazerprinter!

Re:And for the next test... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 months ago | (#47191065)

They did this. The transmission was stopped after 3.5 seconds because they used up their monthly data cap.

Re:And for the next test... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47191159)

They did this. The transmission was stopped after 3.5 seconds because they used up their monthly data cap.

Isn't it amazing? We can send broadband transmissions via light to the moon, but we haven't been getting it at home via Comcast.

Re:And for the next test... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 2 months ago | (#47191203)

... but not before burning the word "Hell" on the lands surrounding Table Mountain Observatory in huge fiery letters.

Link to the actual video (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#47190223)

Its at the end of TFA, but it should have been a direct link in TFS NASA's OPAL Beams Video from Space [youtube.com]

Re:Link to the actual video (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190271)

don't open that contains a virus that made my computer turn into a giant monster that ate my cat

Latency (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | about 2 months ago | (#47190293)

The latency for a WoW player on the moon would be a bitch, though.

Re:Latency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190337)

Yep, the ping would be about 2500 ms.

Re:Latency (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47190607)

And the ping time a broadband link between Venus and Earth would vary with the seasons, or disappear when there is a Venus eclipse and Earth and Venus are on opposite sides of the Sun, (and you'd need a 3rd relay point away from direct line of sight) but Sun to Earth ping time is roughly 8 minutes (it's how long light takes to get from the Sun to Earth), so you're talking, I'm guessing 3 minutes on closest approach to 15 minutes on farthest distance ping time, or something on that scale. Imagine playing a multiplayer first person shooter with such ping times. Maybe a game of Chess or Go is better.

Feed Starving Children (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190309)

Stop wasting your lives.

Re:Feed Starving Children (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47190349)

Sometimes important things bubble up from the very theoretical and seemingly impractical research, things which may ultimately help in solving hunger too.

Re:Feed Starving Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190465)

We already know how to solve hunger. We choose not to. Strange, whatever happened to the "not because they are easy, but because they are hard" mentality?

You repulsive misanthropic space loon.

Re:Feed Starving Children (3, Insightful)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47190573)

There is a hunger issue at the city kennel with not enough funding to feed all the cats and dogs, so a lot of them get put to sleep, or get neutered at the least. In an ideal world you'd let all cats and dogs freely breed and provide each with as much food as they want, but once you end up with a few billion cats and dogs, and you're still living up to your principles of free breeding and the right to feed, you're facing a few trillion of them, and the costs of living up to your principles sooner or later come due. Life has an immense capacity to breed and proliferate, and only a resource limit, such as availability of funds and food put a limit on the population. In this sense, in the sense of lack of self control in population management, starving is a necessity that sooner or later comes due. You simply cannot teach and explain to people to stop hitting that booty when the kids you already have are starving. Life reproduces irregardless of resource limits, and whatever will be will be, we face the tomorrow boldly, head on, we'll figure out a way later, or starve, but we have to keep breeding no matter what. Starving is a necessity with such attitudes.

Re:Feed Starving Children (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 months ago | (#47191345)

So, are we totally ignoring the racism in "population management"? In the developed world, populations are declining - only in the brown and black areas are populations increasing out of control as you suggest. What's it like, being a racist? Please do tell.

Re:Feed Starving Children (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 months ago | (#47191399)

You are the only one equating population management with race. Rich people already manage population by not having unprotected sex and popping out children every nine months, as you've mentioned, but there is also a section of the population that's poor and white kicking out children like you wouldn't believe. It's only a racial issue because you see it as one. It's an education issue.

Re:Feed Starving Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191523)

Rich people already manage population by not having unprotected sex and popping out children every nine months

How do you explain basketball players, then?

Re:Feed Starving Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47192747)

It's an income disparity issue. It just so happens that the United States enslaved African Americans for years and forced them in to long-lasting poverty and disenfranchisement. You live in a country where the health insurance policies available to people can easily cost more than an entire household's income. If you had UHC and people were voluntarily declining birth control, you'd have a point. Until then, the education issue lies with you.

Re:Feed Starving Children (1)

CHIT2ME (2667601) | about 1 month ago | (#47199201)

Gosh! I didn't know people like Mitt Romney were poor white trash!!!

Re:Feed Starving Children (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 2 months ago | (#47191989)

You simply cannot teach and explain to people to stop hitting that booty when the kids you already have are starving.

If they'd actually hit the booty, it wouldn't be a problem. Maybe that's how the education should work, we just need new catch phrases. "Put it in her ass and save your cash," or something.

Continue Improving Communication Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191057)

Give above poster something to do when he's living on the Moon and people on Earth are still starving.

disaster for NASA! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190317)

NASA Beams Hi-Def Video From Space

Good god! Haven't they thought this through? Once the RIAA hears of this, it'll be the end for our space program!

When the moon... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190495)

Has a better internet connection than you, you know your ISP is shit.

Feed Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190513)

NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.

Now if they could beam a cheeseburger across the vast expanse of space, they'd really have something useful. Beaming movies across space, although very impressive, will surely be unappreciated falling on robots' digital eyes and ears.

Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190541)

HELLO, ISS! :D Please don't mind the cynics.

Obligatory (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47190557)

How did they get a frickin' shark up to the ISS?

For those wondering why a laser? (5, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 months ago | (#47190597)

Why is a laser better than other forms of EM radiation like radio? Channel capacity depends not just on the frequency-limited bandwidth, but also on the ratio of signal to noise [wikipedia.org] . Increasing signal strength or reducing noise will improve bits per second. (The Nyquist limit of twice the frequency bandwidth only governs frequency modulation, not amplitude modulation.)

Assuming background noise is constant, a laser's (much) better focus means more of the energy pumped into the signal reaches the destination, rather than spreading out and being lost to space. More signal => better signal to noise ratio => higher channel capacity for a given frequency bandwidth.

For those wondering why a laser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47192565)

And also why we may never see radio emissions from a highly advanced civilization as efficient comms would all be point to point laser or similar. There would only be a very short period of time that they might use radio like us, then that might be billions of years ago when we weren't listening.

Re:For those wondering why a laser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47196627)

Exactly my thought as well. Now I'm depressed.

No escape.... (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about 2 months ago | (#47190731)

What? I can't even escape the internet on the moon?

Re:No escape.... (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 months ago | (#47190887)

What? I can't even escape the internet on the moon?

Get your ass to Mars. Ping time is as high as 48 minutes.

Space porn live streaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190823)

And the patent reads: "A method of streaming high definition porn from space to earth in real time."

And in Other News.... (0)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 2 months ago | (#47191369)

The US government has a battleship orbiting the moon, with a big frikking laser beam.

Nasa is so behind.

Does this mean I can have HD via DirecTV soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191973)

I mean, wow... HD video streaming from space? Whodathunkit?

Hasn't DirecTV Been Doing This (Better) For Years? (1)

bitSmiter (1222750) | about 2 months ago | (#47195971)

Seriously. I'm more concerned by NASA's apparent lack of data bandwidth from LEO. Or is the big deal that they did it with a LASER instead of using boring old radio waves?

Is this your learning style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47196649)

To be an asshole until someone tells you why something was done, rather than attempting to look it up yourself and then voicing you skepticism from an informed point?

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