NASA is working on a project that will use Ethereum’s Smart Contracts to enable automatic spacecraft maneuvering while avoiding debris. In a project that could have implications for deep space researches, NASA has decided to put resources behind blockchain technology to ensure that they enhance and make more space communications while ensuring efficient navigation and safer movements.
The project which was named ‘Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm’ will be headed by Professor Jin Wei Kocsis who is an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Akron. The professor has already received a 330,000 dollars to ensure the development of a cognitive architecture for use in the spacecraft which will no longer rely on information from scientists on earth.
Instead on scientists on earth communicating with scientists on the space Ethereum based smart contracts will enable the spacecraft to think on their own especially in the detection and evasion of floating space debris which is always very damaging in events of the collision.
According to Dr Kocsis:
“In this project, we will use Ethereum Blockchain technology to develop a decentralized secure, and cognitive network which will enable a computing infrastructure for deep space exploration. After that, we will explore the Blockchain consensus protocols to improve the resilience of the infrastructure.”
According to Kocsis, the project is aimed at automating data collection among other tasks. This will free up scientists on earth to analyze the data rather than taking all their time calculating and fighting for paths of the deep space probs to anticipate environmental hazards. He added that: “We are hoping to develop a technology that can recognize all the environmental threats and make a move to avoid them as well as do different duties and tasks automatically.”
The team has however not clarified on the specific Ethereum Blockchain they intend to use whether private or public. The move is however a positive one because the application of the decentralized technology may lead to the next generation space network. The main aim of NASA is to advance communication. According to NASA’s communications program manager: This project could lead to decentralized processing among NASA’s space network nodes in a very secure fashion.” This would mean that a more responsive network would have the ability to integrate today’s networks.