On the Edge: Interplanetary Internet

On the freezing surface of Mars, a sensor takes readings of the thin atmosphere and transmits the data to an automated rover, which relays the information to an orbiting satellite. From there, the data packets are sent to an approaching research ship, where astronauts study the readings and send their findings back to Earth, via e-mail. Via e-mail?! This may sound like science fiction, but it is becoming science fact.