# Did Perseverance get an experimental optical communications terminal?

The video Donald Cornwell plenary talk: NASA's Optical Communications Program: 2015 and Beyond was presented at SPIE Photonics West 2015. It's a great talk and worth the time.

Near the end at about 23:23 the speaker talks about the hope to put an optical communications terminal on the Mars 2020 rover, now named Perseverance.

Question: Did this happen?

Presumably it's for talking to to orbit, not to Earth; a 5 cm aperture seems small, though for demonstration purposes only a "heartbeat" signal might be possible. And Ingenuity probably couldn't afford the mass for an optical communications system, even though it could be fairly small.

• – uhoh
Apr 8, 2021 at 16:17

• +1 Thanks! The video mentions that the data rate directly to Earth would be low, and much higher if there was a satellite link.Since Curiosity is still going strong after 10 years and there's no reason not to think Perseverance will be too, it wouldn't have been unreasonable to put it on the rover now in anticipation of a future orbiter with a link. After all, all that sample caching assumes a future robot to pick them up and fly them back to Earth. So is your answer to the main question "No"? As far as Psyche that will be a bigger challenge at 4 to 7 AU than Mars at 0.6 to 1.6 AU