The next frontier of the internet – deep space
NASA has invented a new type of internet that is able to send information into deep space.
The new technology has been used to send dozens of images from a NASA spacecraft to Earth over 32.4 million kilometres away.
The new network is called Disruption-Tolerant Networking, and differs from the Earth-based internet. The link can avoid disruption in space caused by planetary gravitation and solar storms.
The network “pauses” during interruptions, remembers what is being transmitted and holds on to data until it fixes on its destination again.
"This is the first step in creating a totally new space communications capability, an interplanetary internet," Adrian Hooke, NASA's manager of space-networking architecture, technology and standards, said in a statement.