NASA's Interplanetary Internet DTN

Well, it's been about eight years since last I wrote about NASA's plan for a disruption tolerant network for use in near Earth orbit, and beyond (see Interplanetary Internet - Disruption Tolerant Network)


(Delay / Disruption Tolerant Networking)

"Our experience with DTN on the space station leads to additional terrestrial applications especially for mobile communications in which connections may be erratic and discontinuous," said Google's Vint Cerf, a visiting scientist at NASA. "In some cases, battery power will be an issue and devices may have to postpone communication until battery charge is adequate."

The plan is to eventually extend the DTN network, so there are many different 'nodes' - or data relay stations - out there in the Solar System. These could be anything from manned space stations to floating satellites that can store data until it's ready to go. Anything that uses DTN could potentially become a new network node.

Hopefully one day, Mars colonists will be able to open up their laptops and watch cat videos to avoid work, just like us.

Communication in outer space is one of the pet projects put forward by communications engineer - and science fiction writer - George O. Smith in his 1942 story QRM - Interplanetary. Smith writes extensively about the need for solar system-wide communications.

The Venus Equilateral Relay Station was a modern miracle of engineering if you liked to believe the books. Actually, Venus Equilateral was an asteroid that had been shoved into its orbit about the Sun, forming a practical demonstration of the equilateral triangle solution of the Three Moving Bodies. It was a long cylinder, about three miles in length by about a mile in diameter...

This was the center of Interplanetary Communications. This was the main office. It was the heart of the Solar System's communication line, and as such, it was well manned. Orders for everything emanated from Venus Equilateral.

Update 14-Jun-1986 Here's an earlier reference to this idea; take a look at the Interplanetary Radiograph Station from On The Martian Way (1907) by Harry Gore Bishop. End update.

Via Science Alert.

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