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Future Mobility

The man in the moon gets LTE

A Berlin startup wants to work with technology partners to install an LTE network on the moon. The base station should then also make it possible for other space travelers to communicate with the Earth.

24 Mar. 2017
Vodafone Mission to the moon
A Berlin startup wants to work with technology partners to install an LTE network on the moon. (Photo: Vodafone)

Following ten years of research and development, the Berlin-based startup Part Time Scientists wants to be finished by the middle of next year and send ALINA to the moon: The Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module is the first commercial lander on the market. It holds a payload of 100 kg and has a 4G base station with the new LTE-V-X mobile communication standard from Vodafone on board, which will also be available for subsequent missions to the moon.

Since LTE-V is being developed with one eye on connected cars , two rovers will also be transmitting their data. The two specialist Audi lunar quattro vehicles were specially developed for the moon mission and are also equipped with mobile technology from Vodafone. They will drive around the Earth’s moon and capture images, videos, temperature information and condition data and will be controlled by the telecommands that they receive. Communication with the earth 400,000 km away requires significantly more energy, and will be handled by ALINA, which is even more powerful thanks to larger solar panels and the fact that it remains in park while on the moon. The landing module effectively functions as a radio antenna, while the two rovers play the role of smartphones.

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