In 1969, astronauts first set foot on the moon. Fifty years later, private companies intend to send a module… to install an Internet connection.
The project “Mission to the Moon” was presented on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress, which is being held in Barcelona. It is the brainchild of a group of companies such as Nokia, Vodafone telephony companies, the Audi car manufacturer and the German company PTScientists, founded to make accessible the exploration of the Moon.
An automated module called ALINA (Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module) is expected to be sent to the moon by 2019 aboard a SpaceX rocket. This module will establish a 4G Internet connection with the Earth.
The ALINA module is developed by the Berlin firm PTScientists.
Due to space travel obligations, the material components to emit the network will be the lightest ever produced. “[The module] will weigh less than a kilo, the same as a bag of sugar,” writes Nokia in a statement.
The group hopes that installations on the Moon will pave the way for space exploration. “The 4G […] network is the first step in establishing a communications infrastructure for future missions. ”
“If we ever want to leave the Earth, we need to develop infrastructure of this kind outside our home planet,” says Robert Böhme, CEO of PTScientists
Once on the surface of the Moon, two exploration probes will be deposited. Thanks to the Internet connection of the ALINA module, they will transmit images of their journey live, in HD. The team wants to revisit the installations of Apollo 17, the last human mission in lunar soil. If this project succeeds, it will be the first time that a private machine will tread the lunar soil.
Dormant since the middle of the Cold War, space exploration has become more attractive in recent years, in the wake of people like Elon Musk, SpaceX’s boss, whose eyes are focused on a goal that is well beyond beyond the Moon.