It beats previous attempts to send data through space using similar techniques, in particular one earlier this year which saw NASA beam the Mona Lisa into space at a rather paltry 300 bits per second. The new success of the LLCD marks a major milestone in space communications: NASA has previously relied on radio frequency data links, but they’re not able to carry the quantities of data that the agency will require in the future.
So, while the LLC is currently a proof of concept, it’s hoped it will see real service soon. “We are encouraged by the results of the demonstration to this point, and we are confident we are on the right path to introduce this new capability into operational service soon,” explained Badri Younes, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation. And frankly, when Internet on the moon is faster than some home connections, you know the future had arrived.