NASA has been testing the use of laser beams to send data transmissions through space, and just broke records for speed. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration, which uses a pulsed laser beam instead of radio waves, transmitted data at 622 MB per second from NASA's New Mexico ground station to spacecraft orbiting close to the Moon.
"LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication capability," said Badri Younes of NASA's comms and navigation department, SCaN. "We are encouraged by the results of the demonstration to this point, and we are confident we are on the right path to introduce this new capability into operational service soon." The two-way communication system will allow the agency to send higher-res images and 3-D video transmission from deep space.