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Interplanetary Networking Takes Another Step

Although using older protocols, NASA and ESA demonstrated how interplanetary networking will change space exploration by linking one of the Mars rovers (Opportunity) to ESA’s Mars Express orbiter. Both spacecraft were using the Proximity-1 protocol developed by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, which has worked for years on standardizing methods of transmitting data from spacecraft. On the horizon are the protocols being developed by the InterPlanetary Internet project, which aim at eventually providing a communcations infrastructure throughout the Solar System.