Mars Telecommunications Orbiter
May 05, 2005
Mars Telecommunications Orbiter: Interplanetary Broadband
Lockheed Martin Space Systems is expected to land a $500 million contract to build the Mars Telecommunication Orbiter, said Roger Gibbs, MTO project manager at JPL in Pasadena, California. The MTO is intended by NASA to pioneer the use of lasers in planet-to-planet communication; the intended launch date will be sometime in 2009. The Mars Telecommunication Orbiter will be the first interplanetary spacecraft whose main mission is to provide communications services to other missions. It will orbit Mars at a higher altitude than most orbiters, about 2,800 miles above the Martian surface. This will provide an enhanced line of site to Earth. The spacecraft will communicate with Earth via two radio bands and a new optical communications terminal, which will demonstrate the use of a near-infrared laser beam for interplanetary communications.
March 12, 2005
NASA Mars Program Under Scrutiny
NASA’s Mars program could undergo major alternation, driven by budgetary and technical issues, as well as science goals. “We’ve been getting inputs, advice, actions items…from the road mapping teams,” said Doug McCuistion, Mars Exploration Program Director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Nothing is finalized at this point. There have been no final decisions made or, frankly, any interim decisions made as yet.”
February 28, 2005
An Earth-Mars Laser Link
Researchers will announce some of the latest breakthroughs and innovations in optics-based communications at OFC/NFOEC 2005-a joining together of two leading meetings in the optical communications community. OFC/NFOEC (Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference) will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center between March 6 and 11, 2005.
November 15, 2004
NASA To Test Laser Communications With Mars Spacecraft
Work is underway to establish the first interplanetary laser communication link. The $300 million NASA experiment, if successful, will connect robotic spacecraft at Mars with scientists back on Earth via a beam of light traveling some 300 million kilometers. For scientists eager to download bandwidth-intensive imagery and other data collected by planetary orbiters, probes and landers, the laser communications would offer a dramatic breakthrough in the amounts of information spacecraft can reliably transmit back to Earth.
September 13, 2004
Testing Deep Space Laser Communications
When astronauts first touch down on Mars, they may talk back to Earth on a direct laser link rather than over a conventional radio. The light-based technology could also be used to communicate with future robotic spacecraft. NASA and MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers are laying the groundwork for the first interplanetary laser communications system. In 2010, the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration (MLCD) will test the first deep-space laser communication link, which promises to transmit data at a rate nearly ten times higher than any existing interplanetary radio communication connection
August 06, 2004
MIT-NASA team to test first interplanetary laser communication link
A NASA–MIT Lincoln Laboratory team will forge the first laser communication link between Mars and Earth. This unique experiment, part of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, will greatly benefit the transmission of data from robotic spacecraft. In 2010, the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration (MLCD) will test the first deep-space laser communication link, which promises to transmit data at a rate nearly ten times higher than any existing interplanetary radio communication link.
Additional Articles in this Category