NASA makes history by streaming cat video from deep space

NASA made history when it successfully streamed a high-definition video of a cat from deep space using laser communications for the first time. 

NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment is an ongoing effort to expand communications bandwidth in space. 

On Dec. 11, the demonstration clocked a new record after streaming an ultra-high-definition video 19 million miles away, according to NASA

The video was of an orange tabby cat named Taters chasing a faint red dot from a laser pointer as it moves quickly across the couch. 

"This accomplishment underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element to meeting our future data transmission needs," NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said in a press release. "Increasing our bandwidth is essential to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement of this technology and the transformation of how we communicate during future interplanetary missions."

The video was beamed to Earth from NASA's Psyche spacecraft and took less than two minutes for the video to reach Caltech's Palomar Observatory. The footage traveled the system's maximum rate of 267 megabits per second.

The video was loaded into Psyche's laser communication craft before being blasted off in October. 

Taters belongs to an employee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.