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NASA researching 'nanosats' for orbiting 5G space network

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NASA's Ames Research Center is teaming with the often sinister-sounding Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corporation (m2mi) to create a global networking system using small satellites they call "nanosats."

The two organizations intend to develop swarms of spacecrafts weighing between 11 and 110 pounds, which will be placed in low Earth orbit to create a commercial telecommunications and networking system.

NASA said it will contribute its expertise in nanosensors, wireless networks and nanosatellite technology to the project, while m2mi offers its software, sensors, and "global system awareness" technologies.

"NASA wants to work with companies to develop a new economy in space," said NASA Ames Center Director Simon 'Pete' Worden. "m2mi has great technology that fits excellently with our goals, while enhancing the commercial use of NASA-developed technologies."

The organizations say their nanosats will be developed with a fifth generation (or 5G) communication system — which includes VoIP, video, data, and wireless transmissions. Meanwhile us Earth dwellers are scraping it out a full G behind at best.

According to the release, the system "will provide a robust, global, space-based, high-speed network for communication, data storage, and Earth observations."

As you may have come to expect in a NASA announcement, there's no launch date, price tag, or estimated time until the network achieves self-awareness specified. ®

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