| The Moon
Apollo 11 Site at Tranquility Base
Most if not all lasers pointed at the moon are used for measuring distance to the moon and back. This requires single pulse detection and by it's very nature WIDEBAND and in most cases single photon detectors. If you have no need to measure distance you can trade bandwidth and speed for signal level. For laser communications one can use long term integration to detect signals that otherwise would be hopelessly buried below the noise floor.
Reflection from the lunar surface is scattered in all directions and as a result is approx. 26 db weaker. But like radio EME the returned signal can be heard anywhere on Earth where the moon is visible.