Interplanetary Internet

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Interplanetary Internet or Interplanetary Networking is spaced-based network first in relatively early stages of development.[1] One of its goals, amongst others, is to connect spacecrafts, satellites, rovers, and orbiters of different planets and comets for the exchange of scientific data.[2] Similar to internet on Earth, it is comprised of a network of nodes which communicate to one another.

Early Stages

The project first began in 1997, after Google's Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn had consultations with individuals at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The two initially considered TCP/IP protocols, and soon realized that while those were sufficient for communications on Earth, they were insufficient for communications between Earth and Mars.[1]

Cerf has called the existing system "the front end of what could be an evolving and expanding interplanetary backbone."[1]


Interplanetary Internet faces a number of challenges, including, but not limited to:[1]

  • Slow speeds, due to interplanetary distances
  • Planetary rotations, which change links to communication nodes on the surface of planets


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet, Published 2013 May 6. Retrieved 2016 April 17.
  2. The Interplanetary Internet Implemented on the GENI Testbed, Published 2015 December 6. Retrieved 2016 April 17.