Nasa has implemented a new project that allows its astronauts to access and update their social networking profiles from space.
The US space agency is using technology from enterprise software provider Citrix to create a home-like desktop experience, allowing astronauts to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and family via online social networks.
A Citrix XenDesktop with high-definition HDX technology was recently installed on the Crew Support LAN, which provides astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) with direct, secure access to desktop applications and web sites from any location, including space.
The new network incorporates virtual desktops powered by XenDesktop and WAN optimisation technology from Citrix Branch Repeater, which ensures reliable and secure communications. Nasa said that the project is part of an effort to enhance the quality of life for astronauts during long missions. The space agency says access to social networking tools helps to ease the isolation associated with life in a closed environment.
Two astronauts, USA’s Timothy J. Creamer and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi are already updating their Twitter accounts from space.
The system was first used in March by Creamer when he posted the first unassisted update to his Twitter account from space. The new desktop virtualisation solution gives the ISS crew direct access to communications tools such as Twitter, as well as the ability to browse the web from space.
“We are extremely proud to be partnering with Nasa to enable the ultimate virtual desktop solution over high latency satellite connection,” said Tom Simmons, area vice president, Public Sector, for Citrix.
“We are pleased to play a role in making the distance between the astronauts on the ISS and those of us on the ground just a little shorter. With this project we’ve proven that our desktop virtualisation solutions can deliver desktops to anyone, anywhere, anytime, even under the most unique and challenging conditions.”
Courtesy of Computing.co.uk