For those who may have been unaware, NASA is working on a wealth of incredible projects, with each one of them working further towards understanding the secrets of the universe and pushing the boundaries on what may be possible with scientific innovation.

Now before diving into the nitty gritty of the recent report, I have to clarify one thing; unfortunately, no this report does not confirm interstellar communication with extraterrestrials. Trust me, I wish it did. That being said, this recent report could actually provide valuable information towards the future of traveling space.

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All Aboard the NASA: Psyche

One of the various recent reports from NASA takes its focus and plants it squarely on the Psyche spacecraft. The Psyche spacecraft launched back on October 13, 2023, and is playing a vital role in the agency's Deep Space Optical Communications technological demonstrations. Psyche is actually named after its destination, an asteroid named 16 Psyche. 16 Psyche is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Youtube: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Youtube: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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These are the main points that recent studies have revealed. While traveling to its destination, scientists have been testing just how far their communications will travel. Currently, the Psyche spacecraft is approximately 140 million miles away from Earth, a distance 1.5 times farther away than the Sun is to Earth.

NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Even across that distance, scientists have been able to interface with the Psyche's radio frequency transmitter, making it possible to transmit data back and forth. Scientists merely were attempting to see how far they could push the technology, which they had also tested at other points of the spacecraft's travel.

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Psyche Test Data Results

Scientists with this test in the most simple terms were looking to figure out a couple of things. The first is whether communications at these extreme distances were possible and secondly how quickly could send and or receive these communications. The results of the test were clearly successful and in other ways outperformed expectations.

NASA/Ben Smegelsky
NASA/Ben Smegelsky
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According to the report, NASA’s optical communications demonstration has shown that it can transmit test data at a maximum rate of 267 megabits per second, a bit rate comparable to broadband internet download speeds. When this test on April 8th was run, Psyche was able to transmit data at a speed of 25 Mbps. This was significantly slower, however, original expectations were it would only be able to transmit data at 1 Mbps at a distance.

NASA
NASA
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These results could very well play a role in the future of space travel. By space travel what is meant is man's goal of sending humans to Mars. The goal of sending humans to Mars has long been theorized but currently is not possible outside of Hollywood. When it comes to the possibility of sending to people, it's nowhere near as simple as just putting a crew on a rocket with supplies and launching them.

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A crucial role of the mission would rely on communication and the ability to communicate. Can't just launch people millions of miles across space with no communication abilities.

Youtube: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Youtube: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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Basically, though Psyche has not reached, let alone passed Mars yet, the fact that it was able to receive and send back data of any kind at the distance it was away is an encouraging sign that humans can potentially have communication back and forth if one day we are able to send people to Mars.

There are numerous other important points made by NASA throughout their reports and releases and I would encourage anyone to follow the previously listed links to gain a full and proper understanding of all of NASA's recent findings on the matter.

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NASA and the James Webb Space Telescope have gotten the world excited about space once again. With breathtaking photos from space, it's safe to assume that we've all got a little bit of "Space Fever." Where can you look at stars across New York State? Where are the top observatories and places to view space?

If you're looking to look at the stars, these are some of the top places to sit back and relax from Earth to see them. We did the research for you, and we know these are open to the public. Here's a list of 15 observatories to check out:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

The International Space Station

Initially constructed in 1998, the International Space Station (ISS) is approximately 250 miles above the earth's surface, traveling at 17,500 mph. The ISS orbits Earth every 90 minutes and completes around 15 orbits daily.

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Using the latest statistics from the United States Bureau of Justice, they identified the 5 crimes that are reported most in the state.

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