Not just that, Junko. Cavemen didn't find a cure for the common cold before changing their living arrangements.
I would think that satellites in geosynchronous orbit could be used to relay the laser comms down to earth, as RF, to solve the "clouds happen" problem. I think it would be cool to start establishing a set of extra-terrestrial Internet subnets. This shows why wasting IPv6 address space, as many people seem to do sans souci, may not be such a visionary policy.
I am indeed a huge supporter of advancing science. I believe the Internet to be the greatest invention of the past century, but it is too important to leave future advancement to a handful of companies that have no real commercial interest in making it faster or more widely available to people living in remote areas.
Ben Franklin, in all his wisdon, recognised the importance of universal Mail Delivery service and set it up in the new world over two centuries ago. It is so robust and reliable we still have it today. We should follow that inspiration for the Internet.
I think a "Moon Landing" type effort to find solution to a universal 1 GB/sec broadband internet available anywhere in the world will be the biggest boost to the world economy.
I am just saying we should get the best minds on this now, especially since there appears to be funds to do it, and leave the Interplanetery Internet for another day.
There's no reason why we can't do both intraplanetary and interplanetary Internet -- iust our own will stops us. But really, I like there being some places on earth where you have no access. I also like the idea of being able to see a live feed of Mars from Martian orbit.
There already is a way to get broadband to homes in the boondocks, though. You can do it with satellite, and it's commercially available already. My long-time colleague at work retired to Western Pennsylvania where that was his only option.
The main problem with satellite broadband is latency. But it does work and can be used in low population density settings.
There are also many wireless ISPs available in parts of the country.
Yes! There is a need to have a global reach high speed internet on earth first.
But let NASA not worry about it. Let them fly to outer space and establish such technologies . NASA is definitely aiming for the future colonies in space where such interplanetary internet would become a handy communication medium.
Let hope they do better than one bright manager at my employer. He set up a high speed optical link between tow buildings. It worked great until one winter morning when there was a heavy fog. That's why he was a manager I guess :-)
622 Mbps is impressive for a spaceborne data link, but I don't believe this was a new record set in October 2013. The NASA ACTS satellite, designed in the late 1980s and launched in the early 1990s had a maximum user data rate of 622 Mbps.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.