Earth  ID: 13867

Lasers in Space: NASA is launching a new era of communications in space Dec. 5 Live Shots

In July 1969, the world watched as the first black and white footage from the surface of the Moon was broadcast to televisions. Now a new technology is about to transform how we see, hear and understand information we receive from space. On Sunday Dec. 5, NASA is launching the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) into orbit, which will revolutionize communication in space using technology that is already helping us here on Earth.

LCRD is a technology demonstration that will be capable of carrying a lot more data back to Earth. How much more data? If radio waves can transmit 10 photos in a minute, LCRD could transmit 100 in the same amount of time. This technology demonstration could pave the way for the equivalent of high definition footage to be transmitted back to Earth the next time humans step foot on the Moon with NASA’s Artemis missions.

Sunday’s launch of this technology is an important step in readying a laser communications system for an operational mission, such as at the Moon or Mars, as we can’t replicate the same conditions with tests on the ground.

** Live interviews will be offered on Friday, December 3 from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST

Click here to request an interview:
Satellite interviews are not available. Please do not use an IFB unless necessary.

*Spanish interviews are available*

Participating experts:
Trudy Kortes / Director, Technology Demonstrations
Kathy Lueders / Associate Administrator for Space Operations
Jason Mitchell / Director, Advanced Communications and Navigation Technology Division, SCaN Program
Tawnya Laughinghouse, Technology Demonstration Missions program manager
Christyl Johnson / Deputy Director for Technology and Research
Glenn Jackson / LCRD Project Manager
Nidhin Babu / LCRD Deputy Project Manager
Jeffrey Sheehy / Chief Engineer, Space Technology Mission Directorate
Miriam Wennersten / LCRD Ground Segment Manager
Javier Ocasio-Perez / LCRD Mission Integration & Test Manager*
Christian Rivera Rivera / Software Developer for LCRD’s Ground Segment*

* denotes Spanish speaking talent

Suggested Anchor intro:
NASA is launching a new mission that could revolutionize how we “talk” with future missions in space, including at the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday morning and is tasked with using lasers to communicate in space. Here to talk about it is NASA expert [insert name]

Suggested questions:
Lasers in space sounds like science fiction! Tell us about this mission and what it’ll be testing?
What is laser communications, and what is NASA hoping to learn from this tech demo?
Will the public be able to see the LCRD mission’s lasers?
How will this new type of communication change how we plan to communicate with crewed missions to the Moon or Mars?
Where can our viewers go to keep up with the progress on these efforts to revolutionize space communication?

Questions for longer interviews:
How are laser communication relays going to shape the future of deep space communication?
Will this change how NASA’s communications networks are used?



Jessica Sansarran (NASA): Lead Producer
Michelle Handleman (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Producer
Rich Melnick (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Editor
Christina Brooke Mitchell (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Lead Producer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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SVS >> Laser
SVS >> Laser Communication Relay Demonstration
NASA Science >> Earth