NASA has tested a new type of Internet that can send information from deep space successfully.
32.4 million kilometers – that’s the distance NASA were able to send information between a NASA spacecraft and the Earth.
The technology, dubbed deep space internet, can be used to one day transmit messages at the speed of light between planets.
It’s called Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN), and unlike the Internet we use on Earth, it works over massive distances and is highly resistant to disruptions.
Adrian Hooke, NASA’s manager of space-working architecture, technology and standards, said this was the first step to creating an interplanetary internet.
Reliable communications for astronauts, and more complicated types of space missions, are now possible thanks to the protocol, which was developed by Vint Cerf, one of the original pioneers of the Internet.
The International Space Station will begin testing DTN next year.