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Moon Lasers Are Creating the Galaxy’s Fastest Internet

• http://www.nationaljournal.com, Alex Brown
 How do our lunar-exploring spaceships get buffer-free video? Lasers. NASA and MIT are shooting "lasers full of Internet" to a ship named LADEE that's exploring the moon's atmosphere. According to NASA, speeds have reached 622 megabits per second (Hong Kong tops out at 63.6).
 
Right now, the agency is using a pulsed laser beam to transmit a pair of HD video signals to and from the moon. The 239,000 miles between the New Mexico ground station and the moon marks the "longest two-way laser communication ever demonstrated," according to NASA.
 
In one test, NASA sent an HD video of Bill Nye (the science guy) from a Massachusetts station to the New Mexico transmitters to the moon—and back through the same route—with just a seven-second delay. It takes 1.3 seconds for a signal to make the one-way trip to the moon.
 
 

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