Do astronauts have internet in space?


24 Responses to “Do astronauts have internet in space?”

  1. desiredusername says:

    I bet there’s some latency up there.

  2. musicman says:

    The tubes don’t go that far? Surely they are sitting next to a satellite? ffs. Give them the innernets.

  3. awjtawjt says:

    The best part of this whole thing is the new phrase, “Sex Hat.” I’m all over that.

  4. hapa says:

    GREG JOHNSON: yo DJ you want to ******* know what kind of ********** internet we have? we have SATELLITE ******** INTERNET. cuz this is a M*****F****** SATELLITE, DJ!

    RON GARAN: yeah i don’t think you want to be on a soyuz launch or **** with like a cat-********-5 cable hanging out the ******* ******** window you know what i’m saying.

    GREG JOHNSON: **** yes, i do know what you are saying

  5. interplanetary says:

    The latency to ISS orbit would be a couple of milliseconds direct from a ground station underneath- but the shuttle is served by NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System TDRSS satellites in geostationary orbit, so there’s a geostationary hop with handovers between geostationary footprints to allow longer communication. TCP performance through geostationary satellite is not high, but it does work – as DirecPC users will attest.

    Shuttle network technology is pretty old – 70s at best – and modern technology has been retrofitted. The OCA Orbiting Communications Adapter allows Ethernet onboard, with an interface to the legacy Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems CCSDS protocols used for shuttle communication. The International Space Station has routers and switches onboard – Cabletron and HP Procurve – to support all those shuttle and ISS Thinkpads. Not sure if they’re still using the old IBM qualified stock; I doubt they will have switched to Lenovo.

    Astronauts dictated the ‘first tweet from space’ and it was typed in on the ground. Remote access to a computer on the ground reflects security concerns, reluctance of CCSDS proponents to support IP, and management and monitoring of astronaut activity.

    Outside NASA, the Internet in space is more advanced. There are Cisco routers on satellites at LEO and GEO. The SSTL Disaster Monitoring Constellation DMC satellites all use IP for telemetry and data delivery, as did some other missions. Also read Keith Hogie’s papers on the Mobile IP experiments conducted with a payload carried in the bay of the last Columbia mission.

    And that Wikipedia article on Interplanetary Internet is pretty weak.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      Well, I was in a hurry! Sorry about that.

      Last I heard, the 486 was still the fastest space-qualified x86 processor…

  6. codesuidae says:

    The latency to ISS orbit is actually not bad, light speed delay is somewhere on the order of a millisecond. The bigger problem is that the station is moving very quickly (over 17,000 mph), so in addition to having to switch antennas frequently, the radio transceivers have to compensate for some pretty heavy doppler shift.

    In terms of solvable problems, it isn’t that big a deal, they’ve got comms to the station all the time, but hooking up the internet over those channels isn’t a big priority.

  7. Kosmoid says:

    In space, there is no pr0n.

  8. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Roundtrip delays prevent normal TCP/IP timing.

  9. Aaron Parker says:

    The remote control they’re talking about is Citrix XenDesktop: It sounds like they use a thin client from the space station so that the machine they actually use doesn’t have direct Internet access.

  10. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I predict that 50% of readers will read that headline twice and say, “Oh, internet.”

  11. spincycle says:

    Yes, follow the astros on twitter! The twitter nasa/space community is very active, and NASA has a large presence there. (some of us even got to go to the STS-134 launch…. :)

  12. Brainspore says:

    Still a much better internet connection than Bin Laden had. It was getting expensive sending those little flash-drive ferrying rockets up from local internet cafes.

  13. RebNachum says:

    Maybe now we can make come true my dream of a self-broadcasting lunar monument to Stanley Kubrick:

  14. billster says:

    Cool. They can legally do online gambling. It’s past the three mile limit.

  15. chudez says:

    do they have an open wi-fi hotspot … you know, just in case i’m wardriving in the area

  16. BiggOnion says:

    ..and the obligatory XKCD strip reference:

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