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The updated ISS now has an Internet connection at 600 megabits per second



Connectivity and bandwidth are important in the digital age, even when you are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). And if you conduct research and experiments that could pave the way for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and other space targets, this is especially important. That's why NASA recently upgraded the ISS connection and effectively doubled the rate at which it can send and receive data.

Regardless of whether they are missions in LEO or in the entire outer solar system, rapid and effective communication is essential to ensure this. This critical mission data reaches the control centers and scientists on Earth. With the new connection the ISS now has a connection at 600 megabits per second (Mbps), which doubles the amount of data that the station can send and receive at a given time.

These upgrades will also allow similar upgrades to the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway (also known as Lunar Gateway) proposed by NASA. George Morrow, director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said:

"NASA's communications networks play a key role in every NASA mission, providing access to data from manned space, space, and technology research missions and technological demonstrations Earth Sciences Earth for the benefit of humanity. This increase in data rate for the International Space Station underscores our ambition to provide high-quality operational services for NASA reconnaissance missions today and in the future.

These upgrades will increase the amount of data from these experiments that can be sent back to Earth. Credits: NASA

Since its launch in 2000, the ISS has provided astronauts and scientists with a unique environment for conducting research that would otherwise not be possible on Earth. This research provides insights into the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body and other organisms and allows testing technologies in weightlessness.

These experiments and technology demonstrations are based on high data transfer rates between the station and researchers on Earth. With the latest upgrade, the station can record new experiments and technology demonstrations that require more detailed and higher-resolution data than previously possible. Risha George, head of the Space Network Upgrade Project stated: "This project demonstrated that advanced radio frequency waveforms can be used efficiently to increase data rates and improve performance high-speed communication services. The operational use of these advanced waveforms shows that they can also be used for future missions, such as the Gateway, a small spaceship orbiting the Moon and providing a springboard for human exploration of Mars.

ISS and Earth with a range of ground-based antennas known as space networks, and a system of tracking and data relay satellites (TDRS). These satellites are in high orbit at various strategic locations so they can pass data to the ground, which is then sent over fixed lines to various NASA centers where they are interpreted. The entire process has a delay of less than a second.

Many components of the space network have been updated to support the increased data rate, including at ground stations such as this one in White Sands, New Mexico. Credits: NASA

In order to accommodate the increased data rate several components in this global communications system have also been updated. This includes a new digital ground architecture for the space network as well as upgrades of circuits and bandwidth in the terrestrial data lines between the various terrestrial components.

The ISS software-based modem has also been updated. In various NASA centers, improved data processors as well as new software and hardware were installed at the ground stations. The technicians then ran extensive tests to make sure the upgrades were working properly. Meanwhile, the network supported more than 40 missions in real time.

According to Penny Roberts, the project manager for upgrading the space station, this was made possible thanks to the collaboration with the administration. "Partnerships like these are critical to our continued success as an agency," she said. "Our continued partnership will move us to 600Mbps and who knows where else to go." 19659018]
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