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What will the live video and audio quality be like when we watch an Artemis crewmember set foot on the moon?

The quality of the original Apollo footage from the 1960's is terrible by today's standards. I don't know if the reason for it has something to do with some limiting technology or physics about being at the moon, but I assume we now have the technology to send a digital stream from the moon at reasonably high bandwidth, but I don't know how much bandwidth will actually be allocated to it or what technology will be used.

Also, I assume we are still limited by the speed of light to some minimal amount of latency, but will the back-and forth conversation latency be substantially more than what is necessarily incurred from the limitations of the speed of light - perhaps due to relaying information through a multitude of satellites and broadcasting infrastructure? It's been a long time since we've chatted with anyone 384,000 km away.

I'm hoping it will be at least as good as someone live streaming on a modern smartphone. What are the reasons it might not be? Lots of live spacewalk footage from the ISS has great video, but the audio is still very band-limited. I don't know if that's a bandwidth issue or something to do with near-field microphones in spacesuits that attempt to accentuate the voice and reduce extraneous noise (like most air traffic communication) or just old tech that we haven't upgraded yet.

So, are we going to get an ultra-high-def live stream or it is going to be terrible?

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Footage Representative audio and video quality from the Apollo 11 EVA can be seen in this video. Hopefully it will be better than this!

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  • $\begingroup$ Some objective stats I'd like to know: Video resolution, frame rate, colour depth. $\endgroup$
    – Wyck
    Aug 10, 2022 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ You should look at the Apollo 17 footage to get a better representative example of what kind of live footage they were able to do back then. $\endgroup$
    – Tristan
    Aug 10, 2022 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ I've upvoted but I expect that the answer is going to depend on details of the lander design and the ultimate communications CONOPS that may not be fully fleshed-out yet. See e.g. this answer about what effects transmission bitrates; the transmitter power available from the lander will be a big part of the ultimate available transmission bitrate $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Aug 10, 2022 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ "at least as good as someone live streaming on a modern smartphone" - that would be terrible. The sensors in smart phones won't be able to keep up with the harsh lighting conditions on the Moon. 60s analog technology was way superior in this aspect! $\endgroup$
    – asdfex
    Aug 11, 2022 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ @asdfex The OP was almost certainly referring to the qualify of the live stream imagery from a (lousy) modern smartphone camera rather than the technology used in a modern smartphone. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2022 at 14:45

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It certainly will be better than Apollo 11. Even Apollo 12 was better than Apollo 11, and things improved up to Apollo 17; see Apollo Television. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched in 2009, transmits at up to 100 megabytes/seconds.

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With current bandwith available (as stated above by David 100 mbytes/second are no problem) there should be no big difference to usual TV or internet streams. The only issue you might notice will be the delay in the signal - so conversations will tend to step on each others toes.

Or as you might also: some people will say it looks like it can only be done here on earth because nooooo way this could be done on the moon.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't appreciate the remark about conspiracy theories. $\endgroup$
    – Wyck
    Aug 11, 2022 at 18:45

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