Why do we never see video footage from Mars?
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The answer will send you back in time, when patience was the virtue of every modem user.
Asked by: Richard O’Neill, Glasgow
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.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.
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