Testing Deep Space Laser Communications TelecomDirect News

When astronauts first touch down on Mars, they may talk back to Earth on a direct laser link rather than over a conventional radio. The light-based technology could also be used to communicate with future robotic spacecraft. NASA and MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers are laying the groundwork for the first interplanetary laser communications system. In 2010, the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration (MLCD) will test the first deep-space laser communication link, which promises to transmit data at a rate nearly ten times higher than any existing interplanetary radio communication connection