Why do we never see video footage from Mars?

Why do we never see video footage from Mars?

The answer will send you back in time, when patience was the virtue of every modem user.

Asked by: Richard O’Neill, Glasgow

Advertisement

Video footage requires much higher data transmission rates than still images, and it can take several hours for NASA to receive just one high-resolution colour image from Mars.

Engineers are looking at switching from radio to infrared communication, because the much shorter wavelength offers far higher data rates. The next generation of Mars landers may then send back HD video imagery direct from the Red Planet.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.