Artemis I to Launch First-of-a-Kind Deep Space Biology Mission

NASA’s BioSentinel mission will go beyond the Moon to perform the first long-duration deep space biology experiment. Set to launch with the first flight of the Space Launch System rocket, Artemis I, the spacecraft will study the effects of space radiation on yeast cells. The results could inspire solutions to keep future astronauts healthy during deep space exploration. (Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Poised to launch on Artemis I from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,  BioSentinel – a shoebox-sized CubeSat – will perform the first long-duration biology experiment in deep space. Artemis missions at the Moon will prepare humans to travel on increasingly farther and longer-duration missions to destinations like Mars, and BioSentinel will carry microorganisms, in the form of yeast, to fill critical gaps in knowledge about the health risks in deep space posed by space radiation.

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With a Bit of NASA Help, Industry Looks to Laser Communications

The infrared light used for laser communications differs from radio waves because the infrared light packs the data into significantly tighter waves, meaning ground stations can receive more data at once. While laser communications aren’t necessarily faster, more data can be transmitted in one downlink. (Credits: NASA)

By Andrew Wagner
NASA’s Spinoff Publication

Visible light has been used to communicate for centuries: lanterns on ships and Morse code flashes allowed information to be conveyed at a distance. But now there’s a better way to use light to communicate over even further distances and with far more accuracy – lasers.

Launching in 2021, NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) is going to geostationary orbit, where it’ll communicate with the ground at gigabit speeds. It’s the agency’s latest step to get more data from space per downlink.

NASA has also partnered with companies to improve the technology needed to make laser communications work, and one of these companies is building off that partnership to help customers get the data they need.

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