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NASA beams Mona Lisa to the Moon

Posted on Saturday, 19 January, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece has gone further than ever before thanks to a well-timed laser.

Scientists at NASA accomplished the feat of beaming the famous painting to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter over a distance of 240,000 miles using a laser. It is the first time communication with a laser has been achieved over such a long distance, a major advancement in interplanetary laser communications technology.

"In the near future, this type of simple laser communication might serve as a backup for the radio communication that satellites use. In the more distance future, it may allow communication at higher data rates than present radio links can provide," said researcher David Smith.

"Call it the ultimate in high art: Using a well-timed laser, NASA scientists have beamed a picture of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, to a powerful spacecraft orbiting the moon, marking a first in laser communication."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by King Cobra 1408 on 19 January, 2013, 18:18
that's pretty cool not sure what any good it will bring though.considering its "NASA" anyway what happens to the painting was that the real picture or just a copy?cause if its the real thing wow that's a waste!!!
Comment icon #13 Posted by freetoroam on 19 January, 2013, 18:38
The real Mona Lisa is on permanent display at the Musee du Louvre, I do not believe even NASA can get it off the French that easily.
Comment icon #14 Posted by King Fluffs on 19 January, 2013, 19:29
They should beam a troll face up their next.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Glenville86 on 21 January, 2013, 15:54
Hope no aliens intercepted it. I can just hear them saying to skip that planet - the women there sure are ugly. Just kidding. :-)
Comment icon #16 Posted by freetoroam on 21 January, 2013, 16:56
Yeah, she was not the most beautiful of women out there, but look on the bright side, it could have been Katie Price!
Comment icon #17 Posted by skookum on 23 January, 2013, 8:58
I wish they would send the real Katie Price to the moon. She almost ran me off the road the other day in her chavvy pink Range Rover.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Erudite Celt on 24 January, 2013, 4:45
Radio waves travel at light speed so we've been doing it a while!
Comment icon #19 Posted by Erudite Celt on 24 January, 2013, 5:13
I think a lot of people have misunderstood the article. They did not project a picture of the Mona Lisa onto the moon from earth! Nor did they project a picture of the Mona Lisa onto a craft orbiting the moon from earth! They transmitted a digital signal of the Mona Lisa via pulsed laser light to the moon orbiting satellite that relayed the signal back to earth. If you are reading this via fibre optic broadband then your router is receiving the same sort of signal the satellite received only it was getting the signal via direct line of sight and not a cable [obviously]. b]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Erudite Celt on 24 January, 2013, 5:20
If your on fibre optic broadband then you already have the technology!
Comment icon #21 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 January, 2013, 20:07
Not really. There is a huge difference between sending a laser signal along a fibre optic cable between two fixed points and transmitting a laser signal directly to a fast moving satellite a quarter of a million miles away.

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