NASA launched the Artemis I mission in 2022
BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – The laser communications system for NASA’s Artemis II mission arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart in Florida for integration with the Orion spacecraft, which can carry astronauts across the Moon for the primary time for the reason that Apollo missions.
On November 16, 2022, NASA launched the Artemis I mission, an uncrewed flight check that took the human-rated Orion spacecraft farther into house than any earlier than.
The following mission, Artemis II, will check all of Orion’s programs wanted for crewed spaceflight and set the stage for future missions to the lunar floor. The Artemis II mission can even check new and enhanced applied sciences together with laser communication capabilities.
Orion’s laser communications terminal is named the Orion Artemis II Optical Communications System, or O2O.
Laser communications programs, like O2O, present missions with elevated information charges, that means they will ship and obtain extra info in a single transmission in comparison with conventional radio wave programs, which most NASA missions use at this time. Extra information means extra discoveries.
“At 260 megabits per second, O2O is able to sending down 4K high-definition video from the Moon,” stated Steve Horowitz, O2O venture supervisor.
“Along with video and footage, O2O will transmit and obtain procedures, footage, flight plans, and be a hyperlink between Orion and mission management on Earth.”
After gathering information, O2O will ship the knowledge over laser alerts to considered one of two floor stations in Las Cruces, New Mexico, or Desk Mountain, California – each chosen for his or her minimal cloud protection. The standard of photographs and movies despatched from Orion by O2O will rely, partially, on the cloud protection on the floor stations.
The O2O laser terminal is a part of the Area Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program’s optical infusion effort, which is demonstrating laser communications on a number of missions.
O2O was developed by a staff of engineers from NASA’s Goddard Area Flight Heart and the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise Lincoln Laboratory (MIT-LL).
This partnership has efficiently led to a number of laser communications missions, such because the 2013 Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD), the 2021 Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), and the 2022 TeraByte InfraRed Supply payload.
By demonstrating this know-how in a number of house regimes, SCaN is showcasing the advantages laser communications can have for missions.
Previous to its supply to Kennedy, the O2O laser terminal went by a number of ranges of environmental testing to make sure that the payload can function within the harsh setting of house.
Laser communications terminals like O2O will enable extra information to achieve Earth and help scientists’ efforts to conduct superior investigations.
The information collected by Artemis II will inform NASA’s future lunar missions and assist the company set up a long-term presence on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars.
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