Tiny, Laser-Beaming Satellites Could Communicate With Mars
Last August, Masahide Sasaki and his team instructed a satellite to shoot laser beams at a suburb of Tokyo. No, not like that. The laser beam, made of infrared light, was invisible to the human eye. By the time it had traveled through hundreds of miles of outer space and atmosphere, the light was harmless: It had spread out like a spotlight, about as wide as 10 soccer fields. Some of that light made its way into the end of a telescope, where it bounced off mirrors and flew through lenses and filters onto a photon-measuring detector.