Today, NASA announced that engineers from its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., had transmitted images to a NASA science spacecraft that was located more than 20 million miles away. The engineers used the Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol, which was co-developed with Internet co-founder Vint Cerf, to transmit the data.
I’m always happy to learn of instances of the U.S. government giving scientists the time and resources to focus on their work. Research, while not always something that can be ‘productized,’ drives innovation. An interplanetary Internet might not be a practical venture yet, but neither was the original Internet when Cerf and others got it going forty years ago..
On this celestial body, DTN could be useful in situations where network connectivity is spotty. I’m not an expert, but it sounds like it could be useful for bringing the Internet to rural areas, and that is a good thing.