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NASA's Deep Space Network Is Protected By Newly Installed VPN

By Victor Thomson , Dec 16, 2016 03:00 AM EST
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In order to protect its Deep Space Network, NASA installs VPN. (Photo : Jackie Giusti / YouTube Screenshot)

NASA and AT&T work together to secure network data communication to and from spacecraft via VPN.

NASA's VPN

By providing a high-speed VPN, AT&T will help NASA upgrade its Deep Space Network. The new NASA VPN will connect to giant radio antennas around the world.

According to Computerworld, Mike Leff, an AT&T vice president, said that the company's technology helps NASA explore the universe. The space agency's Deep Space Network is a powerful system for monitoring, tracking and commanding the spacecraft's at distant locations.

The new VPN network will provide highly reliable and secure communications to transport telemetry data from spacecraft. AT&T's Leff said that the VPN was installed in two phases. This past summer was completed the first phase, while earlier this month was completed the second part of the project.

The Deep Space Network

The Deep Space Network is composed of a network of large communication facilities and antennas in Australia, Spain, and the United States. The network is also used to monitor passing asteroids through radar mapping. The Deep Space Network also sends commands to various space crafts, including the Juno probe, the New Horizons, and the Mars rovers. In order to provide constant communication with vehicles in space, the network is set up strategically around the globe.

The VPN allows not only a more secure connection but also speeds up data transmission and supports real-time communications. Now data flow through the Deep Space Network will be three times faster than before.

State actors and individuals are eager to hack computing systems for all kind of purposes. According to Leff, for this reason, it is critical for scientific research to use a VPN that protects the integrity of the data flow across Deep Space Network. Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said that any closed networks should use a VPN in order to ensure compression and security of the data flow.

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