NASA is fixing the sucky internet connection in space
NASA announced transition to a laser-based Internet broadcasting technology, as the present connection, powered by orbiting data relay satellites is not providing ISS astronauts with enough internet speed to stay in touch with Earth, Atlantic reports.
Satellite powered internet that is currently used on ISS does not allow for an unlimited personal usage and fast HD video streaming, primarily due to a slow response rate from servers, located around 22,000 miles back on Earth. Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, NASA’s new technology that converts laser beam signal into an optic cable signal, originally developed for commercial use is about to be first tested in space.
For now, residents of ISS are forced to compose libraries of movies before their departure. The current technology on board only allows staying in touch with Earth through email, news feeds or Twitter. Residents of ISS themselves, sum up their experience as “worse than what dial up was like”. Also, the channel used for after hours surfing is currently shared with the rest of the operating bandwidth, which eventually leads to discouraging privacy issues.