Today, ConsenSys announced its new branch, ConsenSys Space, for decentralized space endeavors. It was formed after last year’s acquisition of Planetary Resources and also revealed its first project, an open-source satellite tracking tool. The tool, TruSat, uses the Ethereum blockchain to tamper-proof its data and, in the future, run its governance entirely.
At the International Astronautical Congress held in Washington today, ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin announced the new establishment with former CEO, Chris Lewicki, and General Counsel, Brian Israel, of Planetary Resources. The latter two retain their positions as co-founders of ConsenSys Space.
“ConsenSys believes that enabling large-scale, global collective action is among the most transformative potential applications of Ethereum blockchain technology, and is investing in solving space-related collective action challenges as R&D to accelerate the realization of this potential,” said Lubin, also co-founder of Ethereum.
He added: “What could we achieve if we could harness the ideas and talents of every person wishing to contribute to space endeavors? We intend to find out. That’s why ConsenSys Space exists.”
Its first project TruSat has been released as a prototype, Version 0.1, for engineers and satellite tracking hobbyists to use. Not only hoping to provide an open-source tracing tool, TruSat aims to address the satellite ‘traffic’ problems of the future.
Today’s release claims that the number of satellites in low orbit is predicted to increase tenfold, introducing the risk of collisions. Since few governments track them, and even fewer share the information, preventing crashes could be an impossible task.
By crowdsourcing data from individuals and organizations, TruSat will continually improve its data and ability to predict satellite positions. Version 0.1 uses blockchain to immutably protect its algorithms, while future versions will integrate Ethereum in decentralized governance, data verification, trust, and automation.
“Designing a system that is at once open, autonomous, and resistant to malicious and erroneous inputs presents considerable engineering challenges,” said Chris Lewicki.
He continued: “A big part of what makes this possible—what allows users to have conﬁdence that neither the algorithms nor the output have been tampered with—is the Ethereum blockchain technology integrated throughout our roadmap.”
Brian Israel added: “Ethereum technology offers new tools for individuals who want to be a part of the solution to organize, across borders, and to pool their resources into solutions on a scale only governments have managed. At least in theory. TruSat is our first experiment in putting this theory into practice.”
The initiative was built with the Secure World Foundation (SWF), Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE), and the University of Texas at Austin. ConsenSys Space is not the only blockchain firm going extraterrestrial. Last month, SpaceChain’s UK arm gained funding from the European Space Agency for its use of satellites as blockchain ‘space nodes’. Meanwhile, KT has a service for securing IoT devices with satellites.