NASA uses laser to beam Mona Lisa to the Moon

The Mona Lisa image, before being cleaned up by Reed-Solomon coding, and after.Credit: Xiaoli Sun / NASA Goddard
The Mona Lisa image, before being cleaned up by Reed-Solomon coding, and after.
Credit: Xiaoli Sun / NASA Goddard

Using lasers to communicate at planetary distances is something that may sound like sci-fi, but it is a real technology being developed by NASA as a means of communicating with spacecraft faster and more efficiently than can be done now.

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Orbiting outpost proposed for far side of the Moon

Artist’s conception of the proposed orbiting outpost near the Moon. Astronauts on board could help direct robotic missions on the lunar surface. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The prospect of when, or even if, NASA astronauts will return to the Moon has been a subject of much debate in recent years. Some experts see it as a necessary stepping stone before future Mars missions. Others see it as a case of “been there, done that.”

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