NASA has released its very popular NASA app for the fourth-generation Apple TV. The new app provides access to NASA TV and also live feeds from the International Space Station (ISS). Earlier it was available only for iOS in iPhone and iPad. The app is available for free and has been downloaded by over 17 million users across all platforms.
Using this app, one can watch live images of Earth from the space station. Users can also view more than 15,000 images one by one or as a continuous slideshow and play on demand. The most exciting feature, however, is that they can view other NASA satellites pass overhead, based on their geographical location and discover the latest NASA mission information.
Earlier this month, the US space organization also established a Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) service on the ISS. This service will not only help with the broadcasting for NASA TV but more importantly, it will help automate and improve data availability for experimentation.
The DTN was added to the Telescience Resource Kit (TReK), software for researchers to transmit and receive data between operations centers and their payloads aboard the space station. This service on the station is meant to enhance mission support applications, including operational file transfers.
NASA has worked closely with one of the ‘fathers of the Internet,’ Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, who is also a distinguished visiting scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to develop DTN. Dr. Cerf sees unlimited benefits of this networking service that can also be used here on Earth.
Establishing such networking in space and making an ecosystem like on earth and connecting us through mediums like NASA TV takes us one step closer to making space goals a reality.