As humans continue to extend their understanding of the universe by exploring deep space, a robust interplanetary internet will become necessary and even inevitable in the future. And scientists are working to bring it to reality.
The science and other stuff to know
The initial missions on Mars are about exploration and setting up the basic requirements for life, according to Console. But over time, it’s reasonable to expect that people who will eventually settle on Mars would want to access internet services in the same way they are used to on Earth. Whether it’s sending emails, or browsing social platforms such as Instagram, video streaming, or gaming, people have an expectation of what they can access online.
Deploying interplanetary internet would follow almost the same approach as on Earth. And the basic components of the proposed space internet include NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN), which will be the Earth’s gateway or portal to that Internet. The DNS will then interact with a constellation of six microsatellites and one large satellite placed in low Mars orbit. This will keep Earth and Mars connected continuously and allow for high-bandwidth data transfer, according to How Stuff Works.
Scientists are also developing an internet file transfer protocol for transmitting data, which overcomes delays and interruptions. “This protocol will act as the backbone of the entire system much as the Internet protocol (IP) and transmission control protocol (TCP) operate on Earth,” the outlet said.
Getting internet on Mars, Moon, or beyond is complex, especially given typical extreme distances and fragile connection links. But if it succeeded, it could enable people to seamlessly settle on Mars without worrying about being out of reach to their loved ones. You could instantly communicate with them and even browse Instagram and other social platforms to keep in touch with friends.
Interplanetary internet could also allow anyone to take a virtual trip to Mars, Moon, and beyond. For the scientific community, it could help them send huge volumes of data to Earth in an instant, such as high-quality images and footage of planets, the solar system, and the entire universe.
Many scientists and space agencies such as Aquarian Space have teased the idea of getting an internet connection on Mars. Currently, the satellites and infrastructure necessary to make this happen aren’t in place. But NASA hopes to send humans to Mars by the late 2030s, so there’s still time to build interplanetary internet.