Space Science

Across 226 million kilometers: Psyche sends data by laser

On April 8, 2024, Psyche, at a distance of more than 226 million kilometers from Earth, which is one and a half times farther than the distance to the Sun, successfully transmitted an engineering data package to our planet using not radio waves but a focused laser beam. This was a real breakthrough, confirming that the future of space communications lies in optical technologies.

The Psyche experiment is not just a beautiful idea, but a real realization of advanced technologies. The laser system installed on board the device has already exceeded all expectations.

In December 2023, at a distance of 31 million kilometers from Earth, Psyche transmitted a 15-second ultra-high-definition video. That’s comparable to downloading a good quality movie in a few seconds!

Of course, the farther the vehicle gets from Earth, the harder it is to maintain high data rates. But even now, beyond the orbit of Mars, Psyche transmits information at a rate ten times faster than radio communications.

The success of the Psyche experiment is only the first step towards the creation of a global laser communication network in space. Scientists are already developing new, more powerful and efficient laser systems. It is planned to create ground receiving stations capable of operating in any weather conditions.

In the future, thanks to laser communication, we will be able not only to receive more information from space, but also to control spacecraft with greater accuracy and speed. This will open new horizons for scientific research, space exploration and perhaps even the search for extraterrestrial life.

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