Using lasers to communicate with robotic spacecraft, astronauts
NASA is building a satellite dish that would be able to transmit roughly 10 times more data than radio antennas from the red planet.
SPACE — NASA has announced that it is building a new satellite dish as part of the Deep Space Network that would be able to communicate with far away robotic spacecrafts.
The dish, named Deep Space Station-23, is expected to be completed in two and a half years.
The satellite dish will be 34 meters wide and will use advanced technology, such as lasers, to transmit data to and from space. Deep Space Station-23 will operate as a radio antenna and will also be equipped with mirrors and include a special receiver for laser beams.
NASA officials say this technology can be used for communicating with astronauts once they are sent to places like Mars.
According to Suzanne Dodd, director of the Interplanetary Network, which manages the Deep Space Network, lasers will be able to transmit roughly 10 times more data than radio antennas from Mars to Earth.
NASA currently has deep space networks in Goldstone, California; Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, Australia. This is to allow spacecraft to have continual contact with Earth while our planet rotates.
As part of the Artemis program, NASA plans to launch three lunar missions by 2024 which will eventually pave way for astronauts to make their way to Mars and make human exploration of the red planet a reality.
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