NASA funds Blockchain-based space communications project will support the development of an autonomous “smart” spacecraft. In addition, the project will be utilizing the underlying “smart contracts” technology to form a spacecraft that will be able to “think.” This would enable the spacecraft to automatically detect and dodge floating debris in time.
19 April, AtoZ Markets – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reserved a new grant that will support the development of an autonomous spacecraft. Reportedly, this spacecraft will be able to make decisions via Blockchain technology and without human intervention.
NASA Funds Blockchain-based Space Communications Project
According to the online media reports, Jin Wei Kocsis has received a $330,000 NASA grant to support her research. Kocsis is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Univesity of Akron, Ohio. She has stated that the research program aims to analyze the application of Ethereum-based Blockchain in developing a secure computing system that will be used in deep space.
She has been quoted as saying:
“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… I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically. I am honored that NASA recognized my work, and I am excited to continue challenging technology’s ability to think and do on its own.”
In addition, the system will be utilizing the underlying “smart contracts” technology to form a spacecraft that will be able to “think.” This would enable the spacecraft to automatically detect and dodge floating debris in time.
What are the advantages of “smart” spacecraft?
Kocsis hopes that this program will allow the spacecraft to maximize the workload and provide more data. It is also expected that this system will enable it to provide scientists with more time for information examination since they will not need to be busy with forecasting environmental threats.
The University of Akron did not share the exact details of timeline for when this technology would go live. Yet, advanced communications program manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Thomas Kacpura, has stated that this is the first time the center has looked into opportunities to utilize Blockchain technology in relation to the space communications and navigation.
Back in February 2018, a decentralized Blockchain application platform running “smart contracts” Qtum, has made an announcement. The organization has shared that its “first ever space-based Blockchain node” had been set up on a Chinese satellite.
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