Video of a red cat traveling through space. Its signal, transmitted more than 30 million km from Earth, was a technological demonstration by NASA. The experiment was carried out by the Pysché probe.
There are tons of cat videos on the internet. But few felines can boast of being the star of a video that traveled through space. This is what happened to the tattoo cat. Its video traveled more than 30 million km before reaching Earth, NASA announced on December 18, 2023.
The video of the tattoo artists was not sent by aliens or some other unknown source. It was actually a technology demonstration, involving the Psyche space mission. Launched by NASA on October 13 to “probe the metallic world,” this probe is headed for the asteroid of the same name. But that’s not its only goal: on its way, the mission must also be used to test space-based optical telecommunications, including a laser. The experiment is sweetly titled “Deep Space Optical Communications,” or DSOC.
It was in this context that on December 11, NASA managed to transmit a short video from the Psyche probe to Earth. The data traveled a trajectory corresponding to about 80 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
Video of the cat that traveled to Earth
The video of the Tater cat used for this demonstration is online on YouTube. For 15 seconds, we see a red cat belonging to one of the NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) employees chasing a laser projected onto the couch. Elements are inserted over the video cats that are superimposed: there is a graphic of Psyche’s trajectory, a drawing of a telescope, or even information about the tater tots (such as its breed and color).
A video signal sent from space took 101 seconds to reach Earth, with a maximum transfer rate of 267 megabits per second (Mbps). A speed equivalent to that of 4G or fiber, which is pretty impressive (entry-level fiber offerings are limited to 300 Mbps). The signal transmitted by the Psyche instrument, the FLT (“Flight Laser Transceiver”) system, was then received by the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. This is where the images were sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NASA welcomes this advance, which holds promise for easier communication in space. ” Technology demonstration proves it’s possible to stream HD video from deep space, laying foundation for human exploration of Mars “, NASA estimates to account X JPL. Explorers from other worlds could transmit more data, especially scientific data.
European Space Agency (ESA) he rejoiced also from a demonstration done by NASA. ESA is keen to make it work: in 2025, when Psyche will be even further from Earth, the European agency will also use the DSOC experiment to receive a signal from space to two observatories in Greece.
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