A research project funded by NASA is planning on using Ethereum blockchain technology to improve and automate spacecraft navigation and make space communication better.
The project will be led by Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, who is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron. She has received a three-year $330,000 Early Career Faculty grant from NASA to develop a ‘Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm’ [RNCP] that uses the blockchain technology underlying smart contracts, which don’t require mediation during transactions.
The aim of this project is to create a spacecraft that can ‘think’ by itself and ‘automatically detect and dodge floating debris’. This innovation is not only a faster and more effective way of detecting debris but also reduces dependence on the scientists ‘back home’, according to Wei Kocsis. In addition to working towards making the spacecraft ‘think’, Wei hopes to develop technology that will allow the spacecraft to complete tasks automatically and collect more data.
Wei Kocsis says:
“In this project, the Ethereum blockchain technology will be exploited to develop a decentralized, secure, and cognitive networking and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration,”
She further adds:
“The blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure.”
Thomas Kacpura, the Advanced Communications Program Manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center says that this was the first time blockchain technology would be used for space communication and navigation. He also says that if the project is successful it “would support decentralized processing among NASA space network nodes in a secure fashion, resulting in a more responsive…. resilient scalable network that can integrate current and future networks in a consistent manner.”
He further adds:
“It is expected that the potential is high to contribute to the next generation space networks, and also allow tech transition of these algorithms for commercial systems.”
Stephen Mark, a Twitter user said:
“The potential of blockchain technology cannot be imagined and NASA proves it.”
Nemanja, a Twitter user said:
“Shouldn’t they use something that has HIGH ASSURANCE of working.”
Anthony Pompliano, managing partner at Full Tilt Capital said:
“Forget the moon, it looks like crypto is going to deep space.”
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