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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Interplanetary Internet by 2008?

One of the most celebrated tech architects and chief Internet evangelist, Vinton G. Cerf, is spearheading a project to move the Internet into outer space next year with a new a technology protocol called InterPlaNet (IPN)-short for Inter-planetary Internet.

The IPN protocol is being developed to connect links between spacecraft on the surface or in the orbit of Mars to Earth. It is the result of Cerf's interest in extending the capabilities of the Internet into the Solar System.

"We are working on standardising the protocols so that spacecrafts can communicate and share information across the solar system," Cerf said in Bangalore, India on Tuesday. "It will be quite valuable for mobile communication which is disruptive due to location and weather. It can be used for terrestrial operations."

"The Internet has grown from 22.5 million servers in 1997 to 395 million servers now. In the same time, the user-base grew from 50 million to over a billion as of January 2007," Cerf added in his remarks in India.

1 comment:

vinton said...

I appreciate Jack Kennedy's blog about the Interplanetary Internet. The project has been in development since 1998 - and it may take until 2010 before we have an opportunity to put the full interplanetary protocol suite in the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and/or a retired (but still functional) Mars Rover. Intermediate steps towards space qualification of IPN may include some tests on board the International Space Station with the assistance of the BIONET team that has on board computers that could be reprogrammed to support IPN. Incidently, as delicious and rather ironic as it might be, my last name is really CERF and not SURF.

Vint Cerf