A group of European scientists has just announced plans to be the first commercial company to land on the Moon. Part Time Scientists hopes to send a pair of small rovers to the landing site of the US Apollo program as early as next year, hitching a ride with Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9.
The company has also partnered with Vodafone to work on the first mobile data station on the moon.
“This is a crucial first step for sustainable exploration of the solar system,” Robert Boehme, CEO of PTScientists told Wired. “In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet. With ‘Mission to the Moon’ we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon.”
Alina, a lunar lander, will also serve as a communications base station—using LTE technology to help man missions to the moon. LTE uses less energy than traditional radio communications, so the company is optimistic that large amounts of data can be transferred from rovers to Earth.
“The less energy we use sending data, the more we have to do science,” said Boehme.
“Together with the PTScientists we are embarking on a journey to space, enabling Germany’s first private Moon landing. All whilst establishing the first LTE network in space,” said Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Germany.
“With this step, we are laying the groundwork for all future moon missions to come.”