The Moon has faster broadband than some parts of the UK

...which is great for astronauts who need to catch up on Mad Men

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 29 May 2014 12:40 BST
Moon broadband is achieved with laser-powered communication uplink through RF signals
Moon broadband is achieved with laser-powered communication uplink through RF signals (Getty)

It is now possible to get broadband speed of just under 20Mbps on the Moon, making it a better place to watch Netflix without buffering issues than some rural parts of the UK.

MIT and Nasa have broken records with its new broadband transmissions speeds on Earth's satellite, where it is now possible to receive large amounts of data and stream video and audio, according to Wired, bringing to mind three key thoughts:

- You would probably have fewer connectivity issues on the Sea of Tranquility than you would in the Lake District.

- It is potentially possible to sit on the Moon and watch DMX llama on YouTube.

- If we ever colonise that thing, there shouldn't be any faff getting a wireless installation guy round.

A download speed of 19.44Mbps was achieved through a laser-powered communication uplink through RF signals, along with an upload speed of 622mbps – that is 4,800 times faster than the previous record.

With the Moon being 284,633km away from Earth, the connection is dependent on its rotation around our planet (laser telescopes beam the data through columns of air which experience bending effects from the atmosphere) but this is a more satisfactory excuse for patchy Wi-Fi than 'maybe the walls are too thick for the router?'.

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"Communicating at high data rates from Earth to the moon with laser beams is challenging because of the 400,000-kilometre distance spreading out the light beam," Mark Stevens of MIT Lincoln Laboratory told Wired. "It's doubly difficult going through the atmosphere, because turbulence can bend light-causing rapid fading or dropouts of the signal at the receiver."

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