SpaceX resupply mission will bring NASA laser communication system to ISS this year

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Later this year, SpaceX’s 29th Commercial Resupply Services mission will lift a refrigerator-sized device to the International Space Station. 

This device — given the catchy name of Integrated LCRD Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) — will complete NASA’s first two-way, end-to-end laser communications system. Harnessing laser beams, ILLUMA-T will transmit information to another satellite at the rate of a respectable Earth-based internet connection.

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