Interplanetary Internet is a reality




Interplanetary Internet is a reality


According to statistics, one-third of the world’s population uses the Internet . In the next decade, this figure is expected to increase at least twice. Internet brings people together and not argue with that. Of course, the people are often formed the problems of the Network in the most remote corners of our world, but these problems simply fade to the complexity of the network to other planets.

But people are already working on it. And to be honest, one version of the Internet, specifically the interplanetary network already exists. And as the “Chief Internet Evangelist” at Google and one of the creators of the web, Vinton “Vint” Cerf decided to share how is this an interplanetary Internet works.

For those who do not know, say, that Cerf is one of the key developers of the protocol TCP / IP, which is now used in almost every house where there is a computer connected to the Net. But in our case, the TCP / IP protocol is not the best choice in favor of building an interplanetary network – the delay in this connection on the giant distance will simply huge.

Instead, it has developed new and more appropriate for interplanetary networks protocols. They are called the Bundle-protocols. The biggest difference Bundle-protocols from the same TCP / IP is that the transmitted information packets are not lost if they can not reach the destination, and accumulated and stored in special nodes until until it is able to resume transmission.

If we take into account the infinite cosmic scale, even radio messages that are transmitted at light speed – it’s not fast enough for our case. In order to pass, for example, a message to Mars takes about 20 minutes. This means that it will take about 40 minutes to get a response back.

Another problem with such a transfer can be arranged, for example, a probe or rover, which must reach the transfer, since they may be on the opposite side of the planet or the hidden Sun. All of this ultimately slows down the transmission or generally makes it impossible for some time. Therefore, the ability to store packets of data transmitted as long as the connection is restored once again, is a very important aspect.

And it’s not just a theory. The fact is that such protocols are in use. Network NASA Deep Space Network, through which data is transmitted to all spacecraft beyond the Earth, already has the support of Bundle-protocols. The International Space Station also has a number of nodes to support such protocols, and in fact is part of an interplanetary Internet.
Two Martian satellites – Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey – have the support of a prototype version of the software needed to build these networks. The two Mars rovers – Opportunity and Curiosity – also use these protocols.

In the future, scientists are plans to expand this network and hope that connect to them and other space agencies. After all, technology is open. And interestingly, the movement in this direction really is.

It will be very useful, especially when you consider that the first settlers to Mars (without a return ticket) are recruited.
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