Do Astronauts Have Internet in Space?

Greg Johnson (pilot for the shuttle STS-134 mission) and Ron Garan (a former member of the International Space Station crew) explain what type of Internet access astronauts have in space:

GREG JOHNSON: As shuttle guys, we really don’t partake in the Internet. We’ve got synchronizations with our emails. It kind of gives us a pseudo-email or pseudo-Internet to communicate with our families and friends and our associates. However, I’m going to pass this to Ronnie because on the station, I believe that they have a better Internet than we do on the shuttle.

RON GARAN: So this is something that is somewhat new is our capability to use the Internet. And how it works is we can be on a laptop here on the International Space Station and basically control remotely a PC or a computer down on the ground that is connected to the Internet. So it’s – we’re limited to when we have the correct communications coverage to be able to be on the Internet and there is some lag in it. So it does work slower than you’re probably used to on the ground. But it’s a very useful tool. And it really helps us to stay connected with what’s going on, on the Earth.


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