“Interplanetary internet” passes first test

NASA just completed the first deep-space test of what could one day become the interplanetary internet. Images of Mars and its moon Phobos were sent back and forth between computers on Earth and NASA’s Epoxi spacecraft. Instead of TCP/IP a new protocol, named “Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking” (DTN) was used. Information is only sent once with DTN, and stored at each node until another node is available to receive the information.  To prevent hackers from interfering with the network, information that is transmitted over DTN is encrypted. The team at NASA is hoping to get the protocol accepted by the international community and setup a permanent node at the International Space Station next year.

[via Warren Ellis]


  1. Levi says:

    Now I can be a space pirate! ARgh!

  2. Yarrgh mateys! says:


    We are the pirates, we don’t do anything…

    We just stay home and lie around…..

    And when you ask us, if we don;t do anything….

    we tell you.. we don’t do anything….

  3. blizzarddemon says:

    Pirates are lame, ninjas for the win

  4. ragnar says:

    I ping’d Mars 40 minutes ago!
    tracepath to Jupiter is taking hours again.

  5. pragma says:

    Technically speaking, this actually is a hack. The Epoxi craft, used to be called Deep Impact.

    So NASA took something that was intended to smash apart comets and, basically, turned it into a wireless router with a huge frame buffer. Sweet.

  6. J4y says:

    .is for international station. .mn for the moon .mr for mars.

  7. Jesse says:

    I can’t wait to post on some of the BBS systems on the new fidonet, haha.

  8. Cyrozap says:

    Just for giggles:

  9. cde says:

    And I was looking for something for my Topics in Telecommunications presentation :D w00t nasa//hack

  10. TJHooker says:

    They’ve had an article on howstuffworks about this for years. It’s actually *at least* 4 decades old, as far as usage goes.

    All the old space missions used it. I guess they’re adding unique identifiers to planetary nodes, and routing algorithms or whatever.

    NASA will encrypt it, hash it, and slap a heavy subscription fee on it.

    You’d probably be shot for trying to intercept Mars Lander feedback.

  11. ondra says:

    WHOOAAA. So they built NNTP all over again. That is just awesome :))

  12. DarkFader says:

    Is there a tld for planet Earth yet? How would I otherwise visit the Google website from the moon?

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