deep space laser ; image: laser, fire woman, and computer code

  • Federal news round-up: wildland firefighters stave off pay cliff.
  • Deep space communication laser from NASA could transform space exploration.
  • Department of Energy laboratory experiences cyber-attack.

This week’s news round-up from around the federal landscape includes a cool story from NASA about their DSOC (deep space optical communications) experiment. We’ve also got an update about the pay cliff that some federal firefighters are facing. And last – read about the latest cyber incident to hit a federal agency.

10 Million Miles in 50 Seconds

Lasers have been proven as robust tools for transmitting data on Earth and in orbital space, but only recently was their effectiveness proven in deep space. The Psyche spacecraft, which is heading towards the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, was part of the DSOC experiment that sent data via laser to and from the Hale telescope in San Diego, CA.

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The new technology is able to send and receive information 10 to 100 times quicker than current frequency systems – completing in 50 seconds what those current systems take 20 minutes to accomplish. The distance that the data traveled was 40 times further than the distance between the Earth and the Moon, roughly 10 million miles.

Shutdown Updates

In our last update regarding funding for the federal government, we went over the details over the latest two-tiered continuing resolution. Basically, the VA, USDA, DOE, DOT, and HUD are operating at the previous budget levels until January 19th while the rest of the government is funded until February 2nd. There’s also an update regarding the pay cliff that wildland federal firefighters, or “hot shots,” have been facing. The continuing resolution has kept the pay boost enacted by the Biden administration in place, but congress still needs to make the enhanced pay permanent.

Data Breach in Idaho

On November 20th, the Idaho National Laboratory was hacked. It was confirmed that the cyberattack hit the human resources department and employee information was included in the compromised data. The facility is one of many nationwide labs that administered by the Department of Energy. It reflects the vulnerabilities throughout the federal government’s digital systems and the evolving threat of cyber criminals attaining federal employee data.


Until Next Time,

Benefits Ben, STWS

**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner, ChFEBC℠ The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.

deep space laser ; image: laser, fire woman, and computer code

Federal News: Deep Space Laser, Pay Cliff, and Another Breach