Finally, some major players in the space exploration industry are now embracing blockchain technology.
The Paris based European Space Agency (ESA) and the Washington DC based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are currently carrying out research on the possible ways of adopting blockchain technology in the work that they do.
So far both agencies have determined that there may be use for the technology both on the ground and in space itself. The agencies are optimistic that the technology will be very vital in coordinating data-related processes here on earth and also for deep space navigation.
According to a report published by Cointelegraph, NASA’s first foray into blockchain adoption occurred last year when the agency disbursed a grant to the tune of $330,000 aimed at supporting the creation of an independent spacecraft system run by blockchain technologies. The blockchain-based spacecraft system in question is called the Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm (RNCP) and is envisaged to be wholly dependent on blockchain without the need for any human interference.
The grant was awarded to the University of Akron’s Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Kocsis noted in her research summary that the RNCP seeks to make use of Ethereum-based blockchain smart contracts to come up with a highly fortified computing system that can withstand the challenging conditions in space.
Explaining further, Kocsis said:
“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. The blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure[…] I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically.”
For its part, the ESA interests is said to be mostly around employing smart contracts in logistics, faster and more accurate payment systems, instant access to changes in data and irreversible voting systems among other priorities.