Internet has become an essential part of our lifestyles as well as the primary source of global communications. However, NASA intends to push the boundaries. It is now trying to implement an interplanetary internet system, a venture in which it has seen some success recently.
The idea stems from the need for scientists and NASA personnel to communicate with a remote robotic hover or some other machine across the space. Of course, the regular optical fiber is not a solution for an internet system that is to be implemented in space.
To implement a viable interplanetary internet system, NASA has made use of its Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN). At the same time, the agency has utilized a unique Internet Protocol called Bundle Protocol.
Last month, a NASA astronaut tested out the system by controlling a tiny LEGO robot placed on Earth from the International Space Station. The experiment was fairly successful and showed that internet across the space is a real possibility.
Commenting on the achievement, NASA’s Badri Younes said, “The demonstration showed the feasibility of using a new communications infrastructure to send commands to a surface robot from an orbiting spacecraft and receive images and data back from the robot. The experimental DTN we’ve tested from the space station may one day be used by humans on a spacecraft in orbit around Mars to operate robots on the surface, or from Earth using orbiting satellites as relay stations.”