NASA Takes Steps to Develop High Speed Space Internet

By Cresswell McCoy | Mar 23, 2017 12:47 PM EDT

NASA is taking the first steps towards high speed space internet by developing a trailblazing, long term technology. The demonstration could become the high speed internet of the sky, NASA will be taking the help of the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) to operate laser communications systems.

If the mission goes well they could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth. NASA has a vision to use optical communications for Earth and deep space missions, this technology has the potential to revolutionize space communications as per NASA.

High speed space internet will be a new technology, it is also known as Optical communications or Laser communications. This will help to encode data on a beam of light, which is transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to Earth terminals. The communication for NASA's future missions to the Moon and Mars will be smoother with the help of high speed internet.

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The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration is designed to operate for many years and it will allow NASA to learn the use of this disruptive new technology. NASA is also designing a laser terminal for the International Space Station, which will use LCRD to relay data from the station.

The LCRD is designed to function between two and five years, Dave Israel the Principle Investigator of LCRD said that they have learnt a lot over the years about the frequencies and communications. He further stated that they will make the most of the technology.

The new technology has already passed a review and has moved on to the integration and test stage of development. The team is led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The other partners include NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. With further research and development NASA will take steps to develop high speed space internet.  

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