Earlier this week, Dr. Vinton Cerf spoke at the University of North Flordia for the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. It was an excellent lecture on the past and future of the Internet. Dr. Cerf was involved in the development of TCP and other early internet protocols. It was great to hear about the early beginnings of the Net from someone who was there!
His latest project is the Interplanetary Internet (IPN). The IPN has some unique challenges for handling data communications over long distances with frequent outages. It is amazing to me that we are only now developing a common protocol standard for communications with probes and other space vehicles. In the past, each space mission developed its own communication package. The new model will allow us to build upon the success of past missions.
Dr. Cerf has a great site hosted by MCI where he is the Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy. Definitely take a look at his site and catch him in person if you get the chance.