The 21st century life revolves around the Internet. We eat, sleep and walk Internet. In fact, such has become the scenario that we get FOMO (feeling of missing out) even if we’re off the internet for a few micro seconds. So, it was only time that someone put that technology in space as well.
According to rumours currently going around in the tech world, NASA could soon make internet connectivity in space, a reality.
NASA is currently overly joyous over the first deployment of its new technology at the International Space Station (ISS). The new tech apparently has the potential to make the process of data transmission from space to Earth much more efficient, faster and easier than ever. More importantly, it’s being touted as the first big step forward towards internet connectivity in space that could be just as good as a home Wi-Fi signal.
The new tech being raved so much is being called Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) by NASA. Apparently, it can lay the groundwork for Solar System-wide internet connectivity in the near future and is capable enough of providing a smart solution to interrupted connections.
We’re well aware about the consequences of a blocked wireless internet signal on Earth. The connection becomes extremely slow in speed, or even disrupts entirely in certain situations. Transmissions from International Space Station had to face several such prominent hiccups on a daily basis. Making things worse was the fact that objects blocking the signals way were huge in numbers and large in size-planets, radiation waves, and other spacecraft etc. DTN makes all these issues a thing of passé.
The DTN process stores the data whenever a connection is interrupted. The data is then forwarded to its destination by making use of relay stations, rather than following the streaming bit by bit option. This gives the network the capability to function properly even if the receipt server is in offline mode.
It has been quite sometime that NASA has been testing the DTN technology, but is was only earlier this month that the technology was successfully installed in the Telescience Resource Kit (TReK), which is a software suite used by researchers to transmit and receive data between their payloads aboard station and operations centers.
In order to make its dream of connecting the whole of solar system to Internet a reality, NASA joined hands with Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for tech gainy Google and a highly-valued visiting scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He is famously also hailed as one of the “fathers of the internet.”
If Internet connectivity in space really does become a reality, it would be one great breakthrough for the mankind.