To boldly go millions of miles from the datacenter
Astronauts in deep space need to make critical decisions quickly. Are atmospheric and surface conditions
suited for an experiment? Where is the most likely location for moon ice for conversion to fuel? What kind
of medical treatment do astronauts need? Are there any signs of failure in on-board equipment or
extravehicular activity (EVA) suits?
Minutes count. But sending data from sensors in space to Earth for analysis creates long delays. A single
temperature reading takes 5-20 minutes to travel from the moon to the ground. High-resolution images
from the Perseverance craft sent to Mars took two days to arrive, and high-resolution spectrum analyses
take exponentially longer.