Dial-Up: The Speed of the ISS’ Internet Access

Do you enjoy watching those HD Videos on your computer? how about watching Netflix on your awesome broadband, fiber optics, 4g, connection? well, if you think that sometimes the connection sucks, astronauts aboard the International Space Station aren’t as lucky as you.

In celebration for Canada Day in Edmonton, a Canadian astronaut Christ Hadfield, said that online gaming is impossible on the ISS because the internet connection speed are on par with dial up… no that’s not because of horrible technology, but it has to do with the fact that the station travels at about 5 miles per second, or 7,200 MPH. The Data pretty much has to race to catch up to the station.

For the most part, they only use the internet to connect to their e-mail services and e-mail their relatives, or associates. Ron Garan, who currently lives on the ISS had this to say about the Internet on the station:

So this is something that is somewhat new is our capability to use the Internet. And how it works is we can be on a laptop here on the International Space Station and basically control remotely a PC or a computer down on the ground that is connected to the Internet. So it’s – we’re limited to when we have the correct communications coverage to be able to be on the Internet and there is some lag in it. So it does work slower than you’re probably used to on the ground. But it’s a very useful tool. And it really helps us to stay connected with what’s going on, on the Earth.

So pretty much what it sounds like to me, is that if the internet at the ground computer goes down, they pretty much are stuck without internet… and all this time I thought I had it bad when Netflix wasn’t loading fast enough….

Via CTV and BoingBoing