In what can certainly be considered a “giant leap for mankind,” Vodafone Germany, Nokia, and Audi are preparing to install a 4G mobile phone network on the Moon, 50 years after NASA’s Apollo 11 astronauts first landed. The equipment will be delivered by a SpaceX Falcon 6 rocket sometime in 2019, and will allow high-definition streaming back to Earth, according to Fast Company.
Vodafone Germany Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter praised the collaboration of the companies working on the project in a press release from the company. “This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness,” Ametsreiter said.
Nokia is developing an Ultra Compact Network for the project, which will weigh less than two pounds and will connect two Audi lunar Quattro rovers to the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module, allowing 4G broadcasts using the 1800 MHz frequency, according to Vodaphone.com. Berlin-based PTScientists, is responsible for working out the details of what will be the first privately-funded trip to the Moon.
Robert Böhme, CEO and Founder of PTScientists, noted that Mission to the Moon is the first step toward humanity’s potential to sustainably explore our solar system. “With Mission to the Moon, we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon. The great thing about this LTE solution is that it saves so much power, and the less energy we use sending data, the more we have to do science!”