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NASA gets closer to laser-based deep space communication.

The Psyche spacecraft that’s heading to study a metal asteroid has successfully test-fired a communications laser back at the Earth from nearly 10 million miles away — a first for NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) system.

NASA said in its announcement that the DSOC test is “one of many critical DSOC milestones” that will make higher throughput communication possible ahead of an eventual manned Mars mission.