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A German Company Wants To Build The First Cell Tower On The Moon

A German company that is planning to land on the Moon has announced it will set up what’s essentially the initial lunar mobile phone tower to communicate with Earth.

Called Part-Time Scientists (PTScientists), the group hopes to put an unmanned lander and rover close to the landing site of Apollo 17 in overdue 2018. And to stay in touch with Earth, the staff will rely on LTE technology Used for cellular phone communications on Earth instead of a more conventional data relay method.

“We are working with Vodafone so as to provide 4G LTE base stations on the moon,” PTScientists engineer Karsten Becker told Space.com. The benefits of utilizing LTE are that it uses less electricity than conventional radio communications. This ought to indicate that large amounts of data can more easily be routed without draining the batteries on the lander.

Theoretically, an astronaut using a phone could connect into the community. “That’s absolutely the idea!” Robert Boehme, CEO of PTScientists, told IFLScience. “The whole idea here is to, for the first time, establish re-usable in-space infrastructure, cutting down the costs and complexity for future space entrepreneurs.”

Originally, PT scientists were clearly among those opponents in the Google Lunar Xprize. This is a competition for private companies to land on the Moon, and then travel across the surface, with prizes of $15 million up for grabs. But they withdrew from the competition to go it alone.

To qualify for the prize, the teams need to start by December 2017 this past year. The five finalists have launch contracts for into the Moon, but if theyll make this deadline remains to be seen.

PTScientists possess a contract to start on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in late 2018. Their lander is called Alina, and will be used as a communications base station on the Moon.

Our rovers are packaged with sensors and armed forces with high-definition cameras, ” Becker said in a announcement back in May. We’ll be collecting a lot of scientific data on the Moon and the high-speed statistics connectivity which LTE provides us will enable the rovers to communicate with Alina to deliver which invaluable data back to Earth.

In that exact same announcement, CEO of Vodafone Germany, Hannes Ametsreiter, said they wanted the machine to be up and running by the time Elon Musks SpaceX sent private passengers to orbit the Moon.

Musk had initially said this would occur in 2018, although that seems unlikely given that their Crew Dragon spacecraft wont launch for the first time until summer 2018. But maybe when astronauts do make it there, they will quite literally be able to call home.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com

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