8 December 2021
The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) mission successfully launched Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
LCRD is a technology demonstration that will pave the way for future optical communications missions. One of LCRD's first operational users will be the Integrated LCRD Low-Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T), a payload that will be hosted on the International Space Station. The terminal will receive high-resolution science data from experiments and instruments onboard the space station and then transfer this data to LCRD, which will then transmit it to a ground station. After the data arrives on Earth, it will be delivered to mission operation centers and mission scientists.
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