The faster side of the moon...

May 29, 2014, 09:40 IST | Agencies

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology beamed data across the 4,00,000 km at impressive speeds of 19.44 mbps

LONDON: The Moon now has faster broadband speeds than most homes in Britain thanks to NASA scientists - and a little help from Star Trek.

Mbps Network speed

Space boffins were able to beam internet via a laser through their telescopes over the 3,84,633 km, at speeds of 19.44 megabits per second (mpbs), faster than the UK average speed of 18 mpbs.

The laser is picked up on a satellite orbiting the Moon and focused into an optical fibre, before it is converted back into data — similar to the scientific theory behind Star Trek’s transporter, that was used to beam humans to different locations.

NASA scientists drew up plans for the hi-tech venture with help from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which means astronauts could catch up on box sets like Breaking Bad and Games of Thrones or even watch live streaming of Premiership Football.

Four separate telescopes were used from New Mexico to beam invisible signals of infrared light over to the lunar landscape — but teams also had to combat the problem of the earth’s atmosphere bending the signals.

Mark Stevens from MIT Lincoln Laboratory said, “Communicating at high data rates from Earth to the moon with laser beams is challenging because of the long distance spreading out the light beam.”

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