Sunday August 13, 2017

Startup to Put Cellphone Tower on the Moon

German startup Part Time Scientists is preparing to set up the first telecommunication infrastructure on the lunar surface: they plan to send a lander with two rovers in late 2018 to visit the landing site of Apollo 17, where they will rely on LTE technology to relay data back to Earth. The lunar lander, "Alina," will serve as a base station, while the rovers will function as mobiles.

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The Falcon 9 will carry the team's spacecraft, Alina, to the geostationary transfer orbit, a highly elliptical Earth orbit whose highest point is 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers). From there, Alina will continue on its own to the moon. "We will soft-land on the moon and disembark our two rovers, the Audi Lunar Quatro rovers, with which we are going to drive up to Apollo 17," Becker said. "The two rovers are essentially mobile phones that will communicate our video stream to Alina, which serves as an LTE base station, and Alina will communicate the data to us," he said.