Snowshoes and outer space

Interplanetary InternetIt was a cold and windy day this past November in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania where I spent the day. I couldn’t resist a motorcycle ride though — the Widder heated electric gloves and vest kept most of me warm. Just two months later and it was back at the Lake but this time with snowshoes.
Then it was back in front of the fireplace to finish reading Lou Dobbs’ new book, Space : The Next Business Frontier. I suspect many of us think of space as being mostly about government related programs like NASA or possibly the global positioning system (GPS), or perhaps directTV. Lou makes the point in his book that space is about a lot more than that. The focus of his book is that space is more and more about “space business”. In addition to a lot of interesting information about space shuttles and satellite launches, he talks about the hundreds of corporate players — including “some of the world’s largest organizations” — which are already generating billions of dollars in revenue. He convinced me that space is headed toward becoming a new business revolution.
Meanwhile, Vint Cerf at WorldCom has been talkking about new possibilities to expand the potential of the Internet into outer space. Recently he began working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a new project to develop an interplanetary communications system based on a special set of protocols that would carry transmissions between planets.