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First Email Message Sent From Space To Earth

In Honor of National Inventors Month, Light Brigade will be featuring a series of some of the "greatest" inventions

that shaped modern society and the ways in which we "communicate" past, present, and future.

On August 4, 1991, the first email message was sent from space to earth. The Houston Chronicle reported, “Electronic mail networks, the message medium of the information age, made their space-age debut Sunday aboard the shuttle Atlantis as part of an effort to develop a communications system for a space station. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James Adamson conducted the first experiment with the e-mail system Sunday afternoon, exchanging a test message with Marcia Ivins, the shuttle communicator at Johnson Space Center. The messages follow a winding path from the shuttle to a satellite in NASA’s Tracking Data Relay Satellite System to the main TDRSS ground station in White Sands, N.M., back up to a commercial communications satellite, then down to Houston, where they enter one or more computer networks. The shuttle tests are part of a larger project to develop computer and communications systems for the space station Freedom, which the agency plans to assemble during the late 1990s.” "Communication" is an essential tool in today's modern society. The ways in which we are able to communicate are continuously improving, expanding, and transforming modern society as we know it on a daily basis. The installation of fiber optic cables which transmits "communication data" via fast traveling pulses of light, is a direct "connection" and "method" that expedites our communication services worldwide. Fiber Optics is the future link that will improve the ways in which we send and receive "communication data."

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