Space the Final Frontier

NASA Mooned the Mona Lisa

Aliens said to be befuddled.
Astronaut. (Photo: flickr.com/edwin11)

Astronaut. (Photo: flickr.com/edwin11)

The heavens are a bit better decorated today, thanks to the art-loving rocket scientists at NASA. Space.com reports that the agency has used lasers to successfully transmit the Mona Lisa (in digital form) to a satellite orbiting the moon.

The site says

The laser signal, fired from an installation in Maryland, beamed the Mona Lisa to the moon to be received 240,000 miles (384,400 km) away by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the moon since 2009.

“This is the first time anyone has achieved one-way laser communication at planetary distances,” added researcher David Smith in a statement. The idea is to turn the tech into an alternative to radio as a way for interplanetary spacecraft to communicate. That way if Elon Musk ever does decamp to Mars, we could cut down on the time it takes to receive his no-doubt-delightful communiqués from the Red Planet.

Pretty cool! We can’t help but wonder, though: Why hurl a painting even humans don’t quite “get” into outer space? Pretty sure aliens are just going to assume she’s secretly laughing at them.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com