NASA Beams Mona Lisa to the Moon

A first in interplanetary communication


The Mona Lisa, one of the most recognizable pieces of art in human history, can now be viewed in its new location, orbiting gently above the moon. Using a carefully timed laser, NASA scientists successfully beamed an image of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that has been floating above the moon’s surface since 2009. David Smith, a researcher with the project, was quite enthused with his work. “This is the first time anyone has achieved one-way laser communication at planetary distances,” he said.

Communicating by lasers, which move at light speed, could offer a vast improvement over the radio links currently used to maintain contact with all of NASA’s probes operating in our solar system.