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Hackers Plan Space Satellites to Combat Censorship

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Vostok manned spacecraft

Fifty years after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter outer space in the Vostok spacecraft, hackers plan to send their own people beyond orbit.


An organization of computer hackers is planning to launch its own communication satellites and bypass satellites controlled by governmental bodies and used to censor certain aspects of the Internet. The organizers also are developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites as part of a larger project known as the Hackerspace Global Grid. Used together in a global network, these stations would be able to pinpoint satellites at any given time, while also making it easier and more reliable for satellites to send data back to earth.

"The first goal is an uncensorable Internet in space," says Nick Farr, who is involved with the Hackerspace project.

The project's supporters cite the United States' proposed Stop Online Piracy Act as an example of the kind of threat facing online freedom. A long-term goal of the Hackerspace project is to put an astronaut on the moon within the next 23 years.

The hackers hope to have three prototype ground stations in place within the next six months, says Armin Bauer, who is working on the Hackerspace project. The organization also is developing electronics that can survive in space and vehicles that can get them there.

From BBC News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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