Sadly for those who want HD and 4K video streams from spacecraft, and ever-better scientific instruments, we're running out of bandwidth in space, as the development of radio frequency transmissions hit a ceiling long ago. It's now about 6Mbps. So why not use freakin' lasers instead?
Developed by Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, OPALS (Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science) is an optical communications technology based on the theory that laser beams are significantly narrower than RF, and so offer much more concentrated power. It's already successfully beamed data at 50Mbps from the ISS to JPL's Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory (OCTL) in Wrightwood, California. It's early days, but the only restriction so far is line-of-sight. Nasa's vast cloud awaits.