Launch of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration — LCRD Official Launch Coverage


Watch the liftoff of our Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The two-hour launch window opens Dec. 5, 2021 at 4:04 a.m. EST.

Laser communications offer data rates higher than traditional radio frequency systems, allowing more data per transmission. Once in orbit, LCRD will demonstrate the benefits of using infrared lasers to communicate information from space, including reduced size, weight, and power requirements for a communications system on a spacecraft. A smaller size means more room for science instruments. Less weight means a less expensive launch. Less power means less drain on the spacecraft’s batteries. All of this enables further exploration.

LCRD is a NASA payload aboard the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6). STPSat-6, part of the Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) mission, will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. STP is operated by the United States Space Force’s Space Systems Command.

For more information on LCRD, visit

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