Team to report on broadband wireless connection to moon

When can people expect to live and work in space? That is quite a question, but scientists are not afraid of asking yet another: assuming people are living and working in space, how are they to communicate with space stations and individuals on Earth? Can they reasonably expect reliable wireless Internet access on the moon? The answer from a team of scientists at NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is that it may well be possible, namely, that wireless broadband can reach the moon. The researchers are from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, working with NASA, forming a “lunar laser communication” team. They are to present a report of a laser-based communication uplink between the moon and Earth, which beat a previous record transmission speed last fall by a factor of 4,800. A detailed overview of their work was prepared by The Optical Society (OSA); the team will be taking their findings next month to the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in California, on June 9.

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