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NASA Communications Networking Software Space The Internet Wireless Networking IT Technology Science

NASA Fires Up Experimental Space Internet For Robot Control 42

coondoggie writes "NASA said today it had teamed with the European Space Agency to successfully test an experimental version of an 'interplanetary Internet' to control a robot on the ground in Germany from a laptop onboard the International Space Station."
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NASA Fires Up Experimental Space Internet For Robot Control

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  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Thursday November 08, 2012 @05:17PM (#41924361)

    It was probably up and running all of 47 seconds before the obligatory Frist Post arrived.

    NASA points out the distinction between this network and the internet:

    From NASA: "The core of the DTN suite is the Bundle Protocol (BP), which is roughly equivalent to the Internet Protocol (IP) that serves as the core of the Internet on Earth. While IP assumes a continuous end-to-end data path exists between the user and a remote space system, DTN accounts for disconnections and errors. In DTN, data move through the network "hop-by-hop." While waiting for the next link to become connected, bundles are temporarily stored and then forwarded to the next node when the link becomes available.

    It seems they are paying attention to security, planning for compromised networks, and non-trusted segments, and it is designed to include
    a number of applications including: sensor networks, mobile devices, use of data mules, military communications which involve stressed disconnected and disrupted networks, along with space-based store-and-forward networks.

    That store and forward bit is key, and would be very nice to have here on Earth, if one could find a way to bolt it onto the existing internet. Currently the closest we have is Email and Cellular Text Messages for this type of stuff. Having been cut off from a remote server due to storm damage with only intermittent contact, I can see where it would be nice to have such capability. (To say nothing about political turmoil where governments try to shut down the net.)

System restarting, wait...