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This article was published on October 28, 2008


Once a joke, now for real: Google heading for space

Once a joke, now for real: Google heading for space
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Google’s best April Fool’s joke of the year definitely was their Mars mission with Richard Branson, called Virgle. Back then, we laughed about Google’s space plans, but now – in rough financial times – Google seems to be serious.

Google in Space

Gizmodo reports that the cocreator of the Internet and Google VP Vint Cerf and NASA’sJet Propulsion Laboratory have combined forces to create a standardized Internet for space. This system should ultimately replace the old troubled radio equipment systems that go back as far as the Cold War.

When that time has come, the new web can connect manned and robotic spacecraft and will form the backbone of a communications system that reaches across the entire solar system. First testing sessions will take place aboard the International Space Station in 2009.

Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that such an Internet connection goes far beyond the fantasy of many geeks. Cerf will make it reality though. He’s now figuring out new protocols that will work in space – facing the challenges of the enormous differences and constantly changing positions. When his baby is done, it will be baptized the… (here it comes).. “Interplanetary Internet“.