After eight years of observing the Earth for major disasters, the UK-DMC-1, one of the first generation Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellites, will be retired from service. Launched in 2003, the UK-DMC-1 marked the first time Cisco’s commercial Internet equipment was brought into space onboard a commercial router in a satellite.
The UK-DMC-1 has earned special recognition as being the first satellite to use Internet technology to prototype the future Interplanetary Internet and evaluate a delay-tolerant networking bundle protocol in space with the Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit (CLEO). CLEO’s service has helped lower the cost of building satellites while improving their communications capabilities with already established data networks on earth, particularly ones using Internet-based communications. Cisco partnered with the NASA Glenn Research Center and Surrey Satellite Technology to pave the way for the future of space networking.
The DMC effectively extended the Internet to orbit, and its farsighted adoption of IP has made it possible to take the backbone of the Internet even further into space.