In August of 2012 “Curiosity” made a soft landing on Mars. In September of 2013 “Voyager 1” went beyond the solar system. In 2015 the interplanetary station “New Horizons” flew near Pluto and headed for the Kuiper belt. Man has achieved significant results over the past 60 years of space exploration. But the cherished dream of Earthlings – a manned flight to Mars – is still unrealized.
NASA takes on the most acute space problems
Good news: in the foreseeable future, our red-brown neighbor will be able to be conquered with the help of the latest technologies. In 2017, the U.S. passed a law that aims to prepare a study of the depths of distant and near space. The way to implement these grandiose plans will be based on blockchain technology and artificial intelligence.
This year U.S. scientists received several grants from NASA. One of them will go towards studying the potential of blockchain technology to improve space communications. Another will study the properties of materials, in particular how they solidify in space in the absence of gravity.
From a technological point of view, the most difficult tasks are to ensure uninterrupted communication over huge distances and the processing of a large amount of data. That’s why the latest IT industry developments, such as the distributed registry, are being used to solve the problem.
Another problem has emerged in the last couple of decades – space debris. Man has not only polluted his own planet, but has managed to leave a “heritage” in the near-earth orbit. There is a real danger of a collision of a launched spacecraft with some piece of detached metal from a rocket or satellite. Blockchain technology can track such debris and correct the flight path of rockets.
Private business has not fallen behind
Private companies are not lagging behind space agencies. Some of them are already considering the possibility of using Bitcoin to pay for tourist flights to near-Earth space. Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, said that it would be possible to become a space tourist on “SpaceShipTwo” for approximately 340 BTC.
Since the launch of satellites has ceased to be a privilege of only governments and small low orbiting satellites such as “CubeSat”, which are easier and cheaper to maintain, have appeared, space companies such as Elon Musk’s and its competitor “OneWeb” have begun to develop their own space programs.
In February of 2018 a Singapore company, “SpaceChain”, launched the world’s first satellite network with open source. Developers can create applications to track freight, for example.
And one more important detail
Among the important goals of blockchain specialists in the space sector is to provide worldwide broadband access to the global network.
Zhen Zuo, the 25-year-old head of “SpaceChain” believes that space will play a major role in the development of the blockchain industry. On their server, which is built on the company’s own satellite, developers can not only create applications but also store information on it. And most importantly – no one can physically reach it.
One of the creators of the “CubeSat” satellites, Jordi Puig-Soire, believes that data storage in the Earth’s orbit gives developers new opportunities. It also changes generally established ideas: storing information in space means keeping it outside the jurisdiction of any government.