Tag Archives: estrack

NASA is now communicating with spacecraft via laser

There was a nice update yesterday relating to one of our previous posts, Space laser to prove increased broadband possible, reporting on how an ESA optical ground station will take part in a laser communication test with NASA later this year. The news? Looks like the first tests, between a NASA ground station and that Agency’s LADEE Moon mission, were a success! (We’ll post news on ESA’s coming participation in the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration shortly.) Via NASA NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits...

Cassini-Huygens eight years later: Modest hero sparks t...

ESOC radio engineer Boris Smeds has become a modest celebrity for his single-handed discovery of a fatal design flaw in Huygens’ radio relay link; one magazine credibly dubbed him a “hero.” But developing the mission recovery plan required a team effort involving hundreds. Editor’s note: Repost of an article published in January 2005. Today marks the 8th anniversary of the landing of ESA’s Huygens – delivered by NASA’s Cassini – on Titan. The touchdown remains today the farthest landing ever made by a human artefact. Media interest in the little-known story of how the Huygens mission was recovered from near-certain disaster started to grow last fall as the joint NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission neared its...