May 16, 2023

Laser Link Will Stream Artemis II Mission in HD

In 1969, the Apollo 11 spaceflight gave the world grainy images of Neil Armstrong taking those historical steps on the Moon’s surface. Nearly six decades later, we can expect high definition (HD) images of the Artemis II when it launches next year.

NASA’s Artemis II will be the first manned mission using the new Orion spacecraft to perform a lunar flyby of the Earth’s only natural satellite since 1972 – the four crew members are expected to go hurtling into the cosmos for the ten-day mission in November 2024.

In order to enhance key communications between the shuttle and ground control, infrared lasers will be used instead of the traditional radio waves, allowing for greater data transmissions in a shorter amount of time. In short, HD views of the Moon will be seen in real time.

The Orion Artemis II Optical Communications System (O2O) will allow the astronauts to send “videos and images significantly more vivid and detailed”, according to O2O Project Manager Steven Horowitz.

Optical communications are expected to become more commonplace in the near future, with some experts touting a sort of satellite internet to be established around the Moon, or a “LunaNet”, which has been considered as part of the greater Moon exploration program by NASA.

The future is exciting, and soon you’ll be video-calling the man (or woman) on the Moon.