Lunar explorer sets upload record, may pave way for 3D video from space

This artist's illustration shows the LADEE spacecraft with the LLCD laser demonstration.

(Credit: NASA)

When you Skype future lunar colonists, chances are you’ll have a great connection.

NASA has set a new record for data transmission to and from a spacecraft orbiting the moon, beaming info 239,000 miles at a download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). How does that compare to your lousy Internet connection?

The data was sent to the Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) experiment aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) using a pulsed laser instead of traditional radio waves.

The experiment also showed an error-free upload rate of 20Mbps from a ground station in New Mexico to LADEE, which launched in September to explore the moon’s extremely thin atmosphere.

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