Satellites will beam data back to Earth using lasers

07/17/2013 | Nature (free content)

Scientists are one step closer to transferring data faster than ever before by using lasers to transmit data and information back to Earth using two satellites preparing for upcoming launches. The European Space Agency's Alphasat project will launch next week as the first optical satellite to collect scientific data from other Earth-orbiting satellites. NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer will launch in September to beam back data from the moon.

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