Building Interplanetary Internet with ‘Disruption Tolerant Networking’

Future interplanetary internet will extend our interconnected network into the solar system and beyond. Spacecraft must communicate over great distances and do not always have a link available. NASA leads the development of a technology, Disruption Tolerant Networking, to overcome these challenges. No end-to-end connection necessary. So, how does it work? Computers talk to each other via IP addresses. If the connection is interrupted the data is lost and must be resent from the original source. Disruption Tolerant Networking allows for interruption. By storing data until the connection to the next hop is established. This technology will benefit missions in Earth orbit and those traveling farther into space. Learn more at

23 thoughts on “Building Interplanetary Internet with ‘Disruption Tolerant Networking’

  1. Other than private, localized networks I can't see this being a thing for decades, or until NAND / X-Point memory becomes as cheap as tape drives. Public network traffic locations would need to implement this manually unless they replaced their hardware (you know enterprise level gear prices better than me) with something that had this feature built in.

    Only way I can see it happening on the public internet is if the ISPs / routing stations justify the upgrade expense by interest in looking at that data they're holding, but they can already do that without holding it in a memory bank?

  2. hardly mind blowing…. more common sense. if any thing it would be out right moronic not to using a system that holds onto data when connection is lost……………………………………….

  3. I imagine in the case of searches it'd be useful to have the server follow and harvest all the pages in the results and beam them all up at once. On the destination let be a copy of the internet that would get constantly updated with each access or by the frequency the sites get accessed.

  4. I have always thought it would be a good idea to have cell phone to cell phone networks without the towers in between. This could allow for a much less controllable internet and would be good in disasters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *