Audi and Vodaphone to Build Cell Phone Network on the Moon
Do you break into a cold sweat if you cannot get phone service when you travel? Obviously astronauts do, so Vodaphone will be building the very first 4G network on the moon, from 2019 onwards, to stop astronauts getting separation anxiety.
Vodaphone is in cahoots with Audi and German aerospace company, PTScientists, to build the lunar 4G network, with the goal of bringing down the cost of undertaking space research. Guess it’s nothing to do with separation anxiety after all, and they will get very good roaming rates.
PTScientists has already developed a spacecraft that can take a 100kg payload all the way to the moon. An integral part of that payload on the trip to the Moon in 2019 will be a 1-kilo package, not much bigger than a bag of sugar, developed by Vodaphone and Nokia, which will create a space-grade 4G network for the moon.
An artists impression of the new Space Quattro Rover with the old Lunar Rover behind.
In the first instance though, the network will be used primarily to communicate with—and therefore, we assume, control—two Audi-designed and -built Lunar Quattro Rovers. These vehicles are being sent to study around the area explored by Man the last time they went to the moon and, in particular, the abandoned lunar rover that was left on the moon all those years ago. But why the study of something Man left on the moon is top priority is a bit of a guess at this time.
The payload will be launched from the Kennedy Space Centre, inside a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, so the clever folks over at X-1R will be a part of the process of getting the rocket to the launch site. And of course we are proud to be associated with the company that is helping the development of new space technologies.
Late last year, China and Europe were already in talks about the establishment of a permanent lunar base, and of course we’re sure that they will be happy to be able to call home using an existing network when they land. What’s more, they will also be able to avail themselves of Amazon, which is also planning moon deliveries by 2020, so they will be able to get all of those “your order is being delivered today” text messages.
By the time the network is up and running, it will be fifty years since the Apollo programme first reached the moon, but is this the “giant leap forward for mankind” that Armstrong had in mind when he first stepped onto the moon all those years ago?
The Lunar Quattro Rover has already starred in a film; in Alien: Covenant, it helped to explore an unknown planet. Cute little chap, isn’t he?