Designing the Interplanetary Web
Reliable Internet access on the Moon, near Mars or for astronauts on a space station? How about controlling a planetary rover from a spacecraft in deep space? These are just some of the pioneering technologies that ESA is working on for future exploration missions.
What do observation or navigation satellites orbiting Earth have in common with astronauts sending images in real time from the International Space Station? They all need to send data back home. And the complexity of sharing information across space is set to grow.
Artist’s impression of Mars Express Credits: Alex Lutkus
In the future, rovers on Mars or inhabited bases on the Moon will be supported by orbiting satellite fleets providing data relay and navigation services. Astronauts will fly to asteroids, hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth, and they’ll need to link up with other astronauts, control centres and sophisticated systems on their vessels.
All of these activities will need to be interconnected, networked and managed.