Firm Plans to Set Up Cellphone Towers on the Moon For Communication…Can You Hear Me Now?
A German startup is aiming to land rovers on the Moon that will communicate using cellphone technology.
The company, which goes by the name PT Scientists ( Part-Time Scientists ), is planning to send a lander and two rovers to the lunar surface before the end of next year.
In addition to visiting the Apollo 17 landing site, the mission will aim to set up and use a standard LTE base station for communication – something that has never been tested on the Moon before.
The firm already has a deal with a leading mobile services provider to help make the idea work.
“We are cooperating with Vodafone in order to provide LTE base stations on the moon,” said Karsten Becker, the company’s embedded electronics development and integration head.
“What we are aiming to do is to provide commercial service to bring goods to the moon and also to provide services on the surface of the moon.”
The company has booked a place for their spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket set to launch in 2018.
“We will soft-land on the moon and disembark our two rovers, the Audi lunar quattro rovers, with which we are going to drive up to Apollo 17,” said Becker.
“The two rovers are essentially mobile phones that will communicate our video stream to Alina (the lander), which serves as an LTE base station, and Alina will communicate the data to us.”
“Using the LTE modem to transmit our data is much more energy efficient than using direct Earth communication.”