International Space Station Now Rocking 600 Mbps Internet

A recent hardware upgrade from NASA means that the International Space Station (ISS) now has a 600 Mbps data rate. The new update doubles the transfer rate they had before, which is a nice upgrade. No news on how many of them are streaming Netflix in 4K though. However, it will obviously benefit their communication capabilities and experiment data quite a bit in the coming years.


The network obviously doesn’t use Fiber, although that would be amusing. It’s a series of powerful antennas on the ground, as well as relay satellites keeping things running up there. What’s amazing is that they still have a ping of less than a second. Not sure if it’s tight enough for some competitive FPS gaming, but I would love to see them try.

International Space Station

“This project demonstrated that advanced radio frequency waveforms can be used efficiently to increase data rates and improve performance for high-rate communication services. Operational use of these advanced waveforms proves that they can also be used for future missions, such as on the Gateway, a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon and provide a stepping stone to human exploration on Mars.” – Space Network upgrade project lead Risha George said via NASA

Fast Than You?

Now, does their 600 Mbps upgrade beat your internet? I’m pretty confident they’re getting 600/600 too, as it’s the same system both ways. They use a system that transfers data to radio waveforms then back though; something your network at home likely isn’t doing.

Run a speed test, drop your results in the comments. It’s the “Can you beat the ISS internet challenge.” Not the best name, but hey, it keeps you procrastinating for another few minutes, so win-win.

Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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