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Earth Has Just Received Cat Video From 19 Million Miles Away via Laser Beam

All cats that have ever missed catching the red dot with a laser pointer deserve praise and retaliation.

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The first streaming video from beyond the moon has been received from a distance of 31 million kilometers (19 million miles) via laser beam technology. It’s quite cute and in very high resolution, so bonus points.

Among the many technological obstacles that must be overcome before humans may colonize the Solar System, better communication systems might not be at the top of the list. But it’s obvious that we need to hurry up the pace when you take into account how excruciatingly long it took New Horizons to return its photographs from its fleeting flyby of Pluto.

NASA tested the viability of transmitting data from the Psyche mission, which was then 16 million kilometers (10 million miles) away from Earth, using near-infrared laser beams last month.

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“One of many critical […] milestones in the coming months, paving the way toward higher-data-rate communications capable of sending scientific information, high-definition imagery, and streaming video in support of humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars,” NASA HQ’s Trudy Kortes said in a statement at the time of the accomplishment.

The streaming movies are available right now, but the scientific data may have to wait until the spacecraft Psyche arrives at its target—the metal-rich asteroid of the same name. NASA intended to keep the film brief since delivering anything like this has significant technological problems that only become bigger the longer the presentation. What better way to start than with 15 seconds of a cat chasing a laser dot in that context?

For the record, Taters is the intergalactic feline star. I think we can all agree that Taters deserves all the glory that comes with becoming a household name on the Internet, including helping to mend the damaged reputation of Orange Cats.

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ALSO READ: 71 Most Interesting and Unexpected Facts: Entirely Mind-Blowing!

For the avoidance of doubt, no, the days when the Soviet Orbit Program sent dogs into orbit to perish are not back in the past. Taters refuses to participate in the Psyche mission. Rather, before the spacecraft launched, the movie was transferred to it after being recorded on Earth.

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said in a recent statement, “This accomplishment underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element to meeting our future data transmission needs.” In order to accomplish our future exploration and scientific objectives, we must increase our bandwidth. We anticipate that this technology will continue to progress and that communication on future interplanetary missions will change significantly.

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Even with NASA’s most advanced gear, there must be some delays when communicating from 63 light seconds distant. The 15-second cat-laser dance traveled 267 megabits per second to Earth in 101 seconds.

A flight laser transceiver on board Psyche converted the video into near-infrared laser signals, which were then transmitted to the Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar, which was the biggest optical telescope in the world for many years. Downloaded, the signal was then sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to be played for both communications aficionados and cat lovers.

According to Ryan Rogalin of JPL, “it was able to send the video faster than most broadband internet connections despite transmitting from millions of miles away.” “In actuality, the video was sent to JPL via the internet after being received at Palomar, and that connection was slower than the signal originating from deep space.”

Although the demonstration is a significant milestone, NASA’s communication issues remain unresolved. It will be more difficult to aim the laser precisely enough for a sufficiently sized telescope to read the message the farther the spaceship is from Earth—less than one-twelfth of the way to the closest point in its target’s orbit. Additionally, as the distance grows, the sending spaceship and the Earth will move enough in the time it takes for the laser to get between them, even with messages flowing at the speed of light, necessitating readjustments.

NASA states that throughout the course of its four-year mission, the Magellan expedition to Venus downloaded a total of 1.2 terabits, which helps put the magnitude of the advancement into perspective. In some test runs on December 4, Psyche downloaded 1.3 terabits at gradually faster rates in anticipation of Taters’ launch.

Taters, who owns a JPL employee (only idiots would believe otherwise), will probably have to wear sunglasses going forward to avoid being identified. Psyche’s orbital route, Tater’s breed and heart rate, and technical details regarding the laser and transmission rate are all displayed in the overlayed visuals.

The selection of the video honors both the fact that cats comprise the Internet and the usage of Felix the cat in early television test broadcasts.

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I'm Michael, a young enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity for the mysteries of science and technology. As a passionate explorer of knowledge, I envisioned a platform that could not only keep us all informed about the latest breakthroughs but also inspire us to marvel at the wonders that surround us.
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