Launching the Internet into outer space

NASA, British National Space Centre, others developing out-of-this-world Net protocols, equipment

Space creatures could soon be surfing the Web along with terrestrial life forms, if plans to expand the Internet into outer space, currently being developed by British and American scientists, are a success.

Researchers at NASA, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the British National Space Centre and Britain's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency are currently drawing-up plans for an interplanetary Net (IPN) that they believe will make future space missions most-effective.

The plan is to develop a way of connecting a network in space to the enormous network that is the Internet. It is believed this would make it more cost-efficient to communicate and relay information including satellite and radio communications in space. This means developing new protocols that could communicate easily in space and even extending the domain name system to include a distinction between Earth, the moon and perhaps even Mars.

NASA claims that the first of these Internet enabled space vehicles should be cruising through the heavens by the year 2005.

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