The moon will soon have its own mobile network

Credits: Screenshot YouTube / Vodafone Group

Four companies are planning to come together to send a small device to the moon, aiming to establish wireless 4G connection on its surface. In order to send this device to its destination, they have called upon SpaceX, and the launch is planned for 2019.

It would be a shame all the same! Not to be able to get a network in the underground, in the toilets, or in the middle of the countryside, while astronauts sent to the moon can easily surf the net! Telecommunications companies Vodafone Germany and Nokia, as well as the German automobile company Audi and engineers from PTScientists, are coming together to develop a device allowing for 4G connection for astronauts. This device will weigh around 1 kilogram.

The speeds at which astronauts can surf the web will not be as fast as they are on Earth, but the mobile network on the moon will allow them to stay connected over enormous distances. It will also allow robots (including the Audi lunar quattro) which are already present on the moon to communicate directly with the Earth. It will transfer scientific data and HD videos, by approaching and studying NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar vehicle, the most recent Apollo space programme mission that brought man to the moon in December 1972.

“This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure”, explains the CEO of Vodafone Germany Hannes Ametsreiter in a statement. Marcus Weldon, Nokia’s director of information systems and president of Bell Labs, also notes that “this important mission supports, among other things, the development of new spatial technologies for networking, processing and storage of future data, and will contribute to progressing the communication infrastructure needed for academics, industry and educational establishments in moon research.” He follows by confirming that “these objectives could have vast implications for numerous stakeholders and humanity as a whole”.

Robert Boehme, CEO and founder of PTScientists, notes that it is a “crucial first step for long term exploration of the solar system”. If humans ever want to relocate from Earth, “we need to develop infrastructure outside of our mother planet”. Researchers are planning for a lunar launch in 2019, on board a Space X Falcon 9 rocket.