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In 2008, NASA quietly announced the first successful test of a deep space communications network modeled on the Internet.  The new software protocol was jointly developed with Google’s Vint Cerf and is being deployed on the International Space Station as a first step in what could become an Interplanetary Internet.  The software protocol is an attempt to deal with the variable delays and intermittent connectivity of transmitting information through space.  If you think you’ve got problems today connecting to the Internet from your smart phone or home wireless network, imagine that magnified a 1,000,000-fold when information is being shared between the Earth’s Moon, Mars, and beyond.

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Category: Science