Mobile communications across the moon in 2019
No, this is not an April Fool's joke and is not the announcement of the next opus of modern science fiction. These are the real plans of the Finnish Nokia and the British Vodafone to launch the first “lunar” mobile coverage area, thanks to which high-definition images can be exchanged with the Earth from the satellite surface.
It was this joint program that the two giants of the market told the amazed public at the World Mobile Phone Congress, which was held at the end of February 2018 in Barcelona. The slogan of this project was: “The future is wonderful. You are ready?".
This mission will be fully funded from private sources, once again confirming the remarkable trend of recent years that progress and science are driven precisely by individuals and enthusiasts, and not at all anticipated and saturated with the spirit of the bureaucracy of the state.
And that big capital, finally, began to strive to perpetuate their name in the history of civilization with truly great things.Well, it seems, we are entering a truly amazing time - you should believe Nokia and Vodafone. Are we ready for it?
The essence of the project
Once, one of the cleverest people of our time, the author of this article met a phrase, the essence of which is that science seems to have been reading the works of the best science fiction writers on the planet for a very long time.
And, really, because almost everything about what was once written, almost all the ideas that at one time looked completely divorced from reality, fabulous and ephemeral, sooner or later found their embodiment.
From Jules Verne to Bradberry, from Heinlein to Lem - almost no creator of fantastic technologies and a popularizer of the future perfection has escaped the honor of being honored that at least some of his invention, at least some thought has already found practical application. Well, or at least was currently in the “active search” of its implementation.
Well, here and with the Moon very soon we will be able to communicate ... by phone. How? This is exactly what Nokia and Vodafone told at that memorable conference. Audi Inventive Bureau, which, as we know, is not alien to classes with all such progressive things, was connected to the case.
The result was a special lunar reconnaissance mobile, automatically capable of installing mobile masts (by the way, the machine will be multifunctional and its main task there will still be scouting the lunar surface to determine the base of the habitable base, but more on that later). The simulated situation basically has 4G coverage, and they want to coincide with its implementation on the 50th anniversary of the first landing of NASA astronauts.
The funny thing is that the power of modern technology Vodafone with the involvement of the technical genius of the Finns managed to come up with a design that will be destined to carry out mobile communication, the size of a small bag of sugar and about the same weight. Amazing? Still would! Especially against the background of the fact that they have even decided on the details of the transportation of this device to the moon.
Participation in the program of SpaceX
Which, of course, is not surprising, for the physical implementation of the project took the omnipresent Ilon Musk. Its SpaceX Falcon 9 is preparing first to put into Earth orbit, and then from it to deliver to the surface of our only satellite mobile Audi with transmitter and mast.
The launch will be carried out, according to tradition, from Cape Canaveral - in 2019. The exact date while in the press did not slip, but, knowing the love of the project participants to symbolism, it is possible that this will be something in the region of mid-July.
Why choose 4G coverage?
Hannes Ametsreyter, executive director of Vodafone Germany - a division of the British operator, who was commissioned to take on this project - in one of his interviews asked why it was 4G coverage that was chosen rather than a more modern 5G network, what are the "purely technical reasons."
The fact is that companies invented by 99.9% sure that the fourth generation on the moon will work stably, without failures and with maximum efficiency. As for the next network, it itself is now only at the stage of global testing, so it’s unreasonable to trust it with such a responsible and difficult task.
It is believed that the program for the introduction of mobile communications on the Moon is one of the components of a multistage and extremely large-scale project to create a full-fledged modular habitat on the satellite Deep Space Gateway (again, remember the prophets of science fiction writers ...).
It is international and many technologically advanced countries of the world have already announced their participation in it.This includes, for example, Japan, which is already in full swing preparing to launch its astronauts as part of one of the manned missions in the 2020s.
The specific tasks of these flights to the moon have not yet been made public, but the Japanese are ready to take an active part in ensuring the future station with their own experience in the field of water and air purification, as well as improving the practice of spacecraft docking.
The project itself was launched and supervised directly by NASA, as the flagship of the planetary space industry. And the agency stated that it is ready to cooperate with all countries, commercial companies and outstanding scientists, inventors and designers who can and are ready to make their own contribution to the exploration of the moon.
In the meantime, we decided to start from “small”: in 2019-2020, the project is preparing to send an unmanned mission to the satellite. It is possible that just with the function of the implementation of mobile communications.