Compare the Space Station’s Internet Speed with Yours

by Nancy Atkinson on January 17, 2014

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We now take it for granted that astronauts on the International Space Station can tweet and post things on Facebook and G+ live from space, but it wasn’t always so. Before January of 2010, any emails, news, or Twitter messages were sent to and from the ISS in uplink and downlink packages, so for example, Twitter messages from the astronauts were downlinked to mission control in Houston, and someone there posted them on the astronauts’ Twitter accounts. But now they have “live” internet. However, as you can imagine, there are no fiberoptic cables hooking up to the ISS, so the internet speeds aren’t blazing fast. Find out how fast in this latest video update from NASA’s Space to Ground, a weekly update on what’s happening aboard the ISS.

The International Space Station as seen from the crew of STS-119. Credit: NASA

The International Space Station as seen from the crew of STS-119. Credit: NASA

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Adrian Morgan January 17, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Three hundred megabits per second sounds blazing fast to me, assuming that’s actual realised speed as opposed to theoretical capacity (a very different beast, as we all know). To do everything I want to on the Internet in 2014, I find I am adequately served by a download speed of at least two point five megabits per second. People who watch live video in high definition will want more, of course, but that’s not most of us.

R. E. Hunter January 18, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Yeah, I’m happy with the 15Mbps down, 0.5 up I get. But 300 would be awesome.

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