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.
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.