Planning to call your friends living on the Moon? Well then, the good news is, the Moon will be getting its first mobile network next year. OK. You can’t actually call anyone on the Moon, even if there is anyone there. The 4G network on the lunar planet is primarily to stream high-definition images of the lunar landscape to Earth. It is part of the privately-funded Mission to the Moon project. So, while you can’t call, at least Moon will very much closer to us, the Earth-dwelling beings, come 2019. For this endeavor, telecommunication company Vodafone Germany has tasked Nokia to develop space-grade Ultra Compact Network that weighs no more than a bag of sugar.
Berlin-based firm, PTScientists, will lead the Mission to the Moon in 2019 – 50 years after the first man set foot on the dusty moon surface in 1969. The mission is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. In addition to Vodafone and Nokia, Audi will also be involved too. The automaker will be supplying two Audi lunar Quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). The first 4G network on Moon will also serve to connect the aforementioned two rovers for communication and transfer of scientific data, as well as HD video as the go about surveying the NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle used by the last astronauts who walked the Moon when exploring the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.
As announced by Vodafone, the base station on the lunar planet should be able to broadcast 4G using the 1800 MHz frequency band which will be beamed to PTScientists server in the Mission Control Centre in Berlin via a deep space link. So, is this it? Is mankind going occupy the pockmark ridden planet? I don’t know. Probably because, according to the official words, the 4G network “will be crucial to Mission to the Moon and is the first step to building communications infrastructure for future missions.” Hmmm, why does it sounds so much colonization?