NASA brings internet service to the entire solar system

NASA brings internet service to the entire solar system

NASA has placed the base of the solar system internet by establishing operational Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN), which is currently being tested on the International Space Station (ISS).

The system has been designed by a team of NASA scientists who worked closely with Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, known as one of the “fathers of the internet.”

The team designed the internet service for solar system to work in the outer space to enhance the data availability for various explorations being performed at the space stations.

DTN supplies an automatic and reliable network, which works on the theory of “store and forward.” The network stores a limited bundle of data in nodes including a communication path until it could be retransmitted or forwarded. The packets are then re-bundled at the final destination, which could be some stations on earth, some other planet, or some spaceships in deep space. Note that, DTN is already incorporated in the software suite at the ISS where scientists use it to send and receive data.

“Our experience with DTN on the space station leads to additional terrestrial applications especially for mobile communications in which connections may be erratic and discontinuous,” said Dr. Cerf.  “In some cases, battery power will be an issue and devices may have to postpone communication until battery charge is adequate. These notions are relevant to the emerging ‘Internet of Things’. “

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For many years, NASA has been working on advanced exploration systems. The solar system internet is just a part of that. A number of international agencies such as the Internet Research Task Force and the Internet Engineering Task Force are working with NASA to encourage wide adoption of the DTN.


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