Daters the Cat Stars in NASA’s First Video Streamed from Deep Space |  NASA

He may not be the first cat in space — that honor goes to a French cat named Félicette in 1963 — but on Monday, Taters, an orange tabby, received a big prize: the first cat video in space.

NASA sent a 15-second video in Ultra-HD of Taters, which traveled nearly 19m miles back to Earth from a probe.

Taters, a member of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) staff, chases a laser pointer point in the video – video sent by laser.

Dater’s 15 seconds of fame was actually a NASA experiment designed to help test the possibility of sending streaming video into deep space, eventually in the days when humans travel beyond Earth orbit.

We’ve streamed the first Ultra-HD video from deep space, brought to you by a laser. And this is a video of a tabby cat named Taters.

The experiment will pave the way for high-data-rate communications to support the next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.

— NASA (@NASA) December 19, 2023

The agency’s Deep Space Optical Communications team added Daughters’ video to the Psych probe, which set off in October on a six-year mission to visit an asteroid. On December 11, it sent the video back to Earth.

“One of the goals is to demonstrate the ability to transmit broadband video over millions of miles,” Bill Klipstein, project manager of the technology demo at JPL, told CBS. “Nothing in Psych generates video data, so we routinely send packets of randomly generated test data.

“But to make this remarkable event even more memorable, we decided to work with designers at JPL to create a fun video.”

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Despite traveling 80 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, Daters’ transmission took just 101 seconds. It’s faster than most broadband internet on Earth.

NASA’s Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said in a statement that this is a historic milestone: “Increasing our bandwidth is essential to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement and transformation of this technology in how we communicate during future interplanetary missions.”

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