Community-based space platform SpaceChain has announced the successful testing of its second blockchain node in space, launched into orbit on October 25, 2018, by a CZ-4B Y34 rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, Xinzhou, China.
“It often takes months and years to build the system and to launch hardware into space as there is a need to secure the launch opportunity, obtain permissions, get the frequency and ensure there is ground station support. We are proud to have launched two nodes in our first year of operations, bringing us one step closer to creating a network of blockchain-based satellites in space” said SpaceChain co-founder and chief executive officer Zee Zheng.
The node is embedded with SpaceChain’s smart operating system, SpaceChain OS, and can perform blockchain-related functions on the Qtum blockchain such as running smart contracts and multi-signature transactions.
“This multi-signature cold wallet service – an application developed by SpaceChain engineers to test the space node – shows proof of technology of being a potential cyber security solution for the blockchain industry,” said SpaceChain co-founder and chief technology officer Jeff Garzik. “SpaceChain deployed and tested the space-based multi-signature transaction which opens up brand new possibilities in space security models.”
Since the launch on October 25, the team has run a number of connectivity tests to ensure the node’s full operational capability. During these tests, the node’s signal was detected and transaction data has been uploaded to the node to complete the signature and then downloaded via the ground station, finally verified on the blockchain network. The transaction verification information can be found here.
To facilitate the launch, SpaceChain commissioned Tibet Zezheng Information Technology Co. Ltd. And Beijing Xihua Science and Technology Co. Ltd., a carrying and launching service provider.
The first blockchain node that SpaceChain launched into orbit on Feb 2, 2018, was equipped with a Raspberry Pi hardware board and blockchain software. It ran a full-node program on the Qtum blockchain and could process existing blockchain data. The node was offline and had limited functionality, but it was the first successful deployment of a Qtum blockchain node in low earth orbit.
Additionally, this node has a geospatial tracking feature that lets you watch the node orbit the earth in real time.