Only a few countries’ governments have been able to embark on space exploration. This is explained by the fact that space exploration is such an intensive and high-class research endeavor that requires a huge amount of funding which most governments cannot actually afford. Recently though, daring and ambitious startups like Space X, have made space exploration a not so exclusive area like it used to be. Today it is increasingly looking like the blockchain and the crowdfunding model which is the initial coin offering (ICO) are lending much-needed weight to space exploration. Big players are turning to the blockchain to aid them in their space mission findings. Some of the big players turning to the blockchain include;
NASA made their first play towards blockchain adoption last year by giving a grant of 330,000 dollars to a project that sought to create an autonomous blockchain based aircraft system. This project known as the Resilient Networking and computing paradigm (RNCP) relies solely on the blockchain and needs no human intervention. The developer behind this project DR Jin Wei Kocsis, a University of Akron assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering explained that the project would apply blockchain smart contracts backed by ethereum in developing a secure computing network to challenge space conditions. The RNCP project will exploit the smart contracts to develop spacecraft with the ability to detect and dodge any hindrance when in deep space. Dr. Kocsis believes that blockchain technology will help space craft’s provide more useful data, complete more tasks while also detecting potential threats to the environment.
NASA’S EU counterpart, the ESA has also been looking into the blockchain. In September last year, they did a detailed report dubbed “distributed ledger technology: leveraging blockchain for ESA’S Success” which highlighted the merits and demerits of the blockchain in relation to how it can be useful to the ESA’S objectives.
Space exploration is no longer just a preserve for governments; smaller startups also have ambitions of democratizing the cosmos. Some of the startups that have launched space satellites include;
- Space Chain
Space chain intends to develop the first open source satellite network that will run on blockchain nodes. This startup is not so much about space exploration but more about the existing infrastructure to improve the blockchain experience.
- Space Decentral
This Singapore based firm stands for the idea that though space exploration needs the likes of Russia and the USA, there are emerging opportunities for private players. The projects exact objective is not known at the moment but the project does promise to enable thousands of new players to be a part of a space agency not just as financiers but also as contributors of knowledge without regard of where they are from.
This startup has unveiled what it terms as the world’s first “three dimension blockchain”. This involves a satellite being developed by Nexus in partnership with Vector space systems that aims to provide global access to digital currency and autonomous internet infrastructure through vector’s galactic sky software platform in a low earth orbit satellite network.
- Block Stream
Block stream is another startup that hopes to beam the blockchain to all on earth through its satellite which relies on open source technologies. Anyone with a small satellite dish will be able to access the signal. The total equipment cost for one user is approximately 100 dollars which is quite affordable and is accompanied by free software.