Space & Astronomy
NASA beams Mona Lisa to the Moon
By T.K. Randall
January 19, 2013 · 21 comments
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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