Further strengthening its claim as the herpes of online connections, dial-up's back -- in speed and spirit, if not in actual technology -- as Space's official internet connection for the last five years or so. What's more, the internet capacity the International Space Station enjoys is fairly rudimentary: Emails, news, Twitter and the occasional video call. Can't read Cracked in space (though if I'm wrong and an astronaut aboard the ISS happens to read this, holy shit, please let me know. Also, hi!).
The main issue here is distance. While the ISS itself is only an average of 254 miles away, there's a whole lot of signal traveling. So, if an astronaut clicks this link in space, the request will travel 22,000 miles to a network of geosynchronous satellites, which send it down to an earth-based receiver, which processes it and returns the response. That's a whole lot of waiting time to realize you've just been Rickrolled.
In related news, if I don't have a column out next week, that means the ISS have a secret death ray.
Luckily, science fully recognizes the situation and is working its ass off to rectify it for aspiring space travelers. There's talk of a functional interplanetary internet, spearheaded by internet luminary Vint Cerf. They're developing completely new series of protocols and storing methods that will one day hopefully be able to bring Mars colonists a comparatively speedy internet access from Earth. Whether this is for their comfort and convenience or whether this is for the constant stream of cat videos that will pacify any chance of a Mars colony secession and uprising is up for speculation.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter.
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