NASA’s aero-computer engineer, Ronald J. Reisman believes blockchain holds many solutions to privacy. Reisman proposed in a paper that an engineering prototype could be built using a permissioned blockchain. It stated “the use of an open source permissioned blockchain framework to enable aircraft privacy and anonymity while providing a secure and efficient method for communication with Air Traffic Services, Operations Support or other authorized entities.” Reisman said NASA had a new system, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), that would be ready by 2020, but it doesn’t have protection for flight plans and positions. The paper gave an outline of the proposed framework that it will utilize “certificate authority, smart contract support and higher bandwidth communication channels to ensure private communication between the aircraft and authorized individuals.” Reisman also revealed that ‘their blockchain’ is being developed and designed only for enterprise use. He also said that other chains lacked cohesion and flexibility which was attributed to design limitations.
In 2018, NASA invested $330 million in the form of grant for creating a blockchain service for space computations. According to various media reports, the experts were going to build a data-centre based on the concept of Ethereum cryptocurrency. The technology was proposed to help satellites avoid risks appearing on its trajectory. Dr Jin Wei Kocsis, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron had said they would be using Ethereum in space technology. “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.”
Blockchain being used in space technology and exploration is a landmark achievement for the crypto industry. Though, research in ongoing in this new technology, experts and techno-agencies cannot stay away from its support and advantages. Besides NASA, Space Chain has also been captivated by blockchain. In early 2018, it launched the first orbiting blockchain node.