Did You Know: Cloud Computing Was Inspired by NASA Innovations?


Whether you realize it or not, you’re benefiting from cloud computing every single day.  If you’re using an iPhone, you’re probably taking it for granted.  And, if you use certain software like Adobe’s Photoshop, cloud computing is protecting your precious work for you while ensuring that you always have the latest and greatest version of this popular software.

Cloud computing is an open network that contains data.  It allows you to have access to internet resources in an “on demand” fashion so that you don’t have to rely on the data of your own device.  And, it’s completely remote, meaning that it doesn’t take up precious storage on the device that you use.

Cloud computing is a fascinating innovation that has dramatically changed the way in which we give, explore and receive data.  With popular software like iCloud and DropBox, cloud computing has truly taken over the way in which we use our devices.  But, how did it develop in the first place? 

As it turns out, NASA has a lot to do with its origins…

Yes, the cloud that you use every single day to enjoy the internet’s finest memes was originally a dream belonging to NASA.  So, why NASA, you ask?  NASA, as you can imagine, is responsible for sending and receiving a lot of data.  And a lot of data requires a lot of storage.  So, cloud computing was conceived as a way to send and receive large files without putting a strain on the crucial servers that must be running properly in order for NASA to follow through with its important communications.

NASA’s first attempt at cloud computing was Nebula, a cloud system conceived sometime around 2010.  Its primary function was to exist as a more efficient way to communicate large data files.  It was made to be completely secure and easily accessible among NASA members.  It was also determined that Nebula was 50 percent more energy efficient than older methods of data transference. 

Unfortunately, Nebula basically died in 2015.  That’s likely because of the fact that the project had been around for five years at that point, allowing other internet innovators to develop more user-friendly cloud-based systems for users.  Meanwhile, established internet companies like Google and Apple were developing their own cloud-based services that seemed a whole lot more familiar to users than NASA’s project.  So, by the time Nebula became available for consumer use, most potential customers already had a trusted cloud computing system in place.

Thank You NASA!

Despite the short-lived success of Nebula, it’s important to note that NASA is responsible for the way in which we use the internet today.  And, as cloud computing continues to evolve, NASA will continue to finetune their methods of data transference to be more efficient and user-friendly than ever before.

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