Vodafone, Audi, and Nokia have teamed up to bring mobile communications to the Moon’s surface – 50 years after astronauts first walked on it.
A Tesla roadster in space? That’s so last month. How about two Audi Quattros on the moon?
Those of you who have been frustrated by the lack of 4G coverage on the Moon can rest easy, thanks to a new partnership with Vodafone, Nokia, Audi, and a space exploration company.
German new-space company PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately funded Moon landing. The Mission to the Moon will launch from Cape Canaveral next year, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Vodafone will employ its network technology to enable 4G coverage that will connect two Audi Quattro lunar rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINIA). Nokia’s Bell Labs is working on a space-grade Ultra Compact Network, weighing less than a kilogram, to help facilitate this.
Nokia chief technology officer and Bell Labs president, Marcus Weldon, said:
This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage. This will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry, and educational institutions in conducting lunar research.
The base station will broadcast 4G over the 1800 MHz frequency band, sending back the first ever live HD video footage of the Moon’s surface.
This should also put the conspiracy theories about faked moon landings to bed. The moon rovers will transmit scientific data and HD video – including footage of NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar rover used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon. Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt explored the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.
Robert Böhme, CEO and Founder of PTScientists, said:
In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet. With Mission to the Moon we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon. The great thing about this LTE solution is that it saves so much power. And the less energy we use sending data, the more we have to do science!
Internet of Business says
Ever since Elon Musk fired both a car and broadband into space, the new Space Age has been all about connectivity.
The Mission to the Moon is as much about preserving the heritage of space exploration and inspiring future missions as it is about scientific research. The use of 4G technology and live HD video streams is a compelling proposition, and while their scientific value might seem limited, their capacity to inspire the next generation of space enterprises, led by the examples of private companies like SpaceX and PTScientists, has huge value in itself.
The Moon holds a unique place in our psyche, as a constant motif for our dreams and ambitions, in literature and in science. A return to its surface is long overdue.
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