Residents of various poorly supplied areas of the world now have to be strong: The moon is being expanded with powerful Internet connections. These should be ready before the next manned missions start.
According to the previous plans, astronauts from the US space agency NASA should fly to the moon again in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. When they arrive there, they should already be able to use the LunaNet. The US magazine AutoEvolution reported that it is a satellite-based network whose nodes revolve around the moon and are connected to the earth’s Internet infrastructure via a shared uplink.
The first planning for the network did not begin until 2019. Compared to other space projects, it is a real quick shot. However, the LunaNet project mainly makes use of various existing technologies. Nevertheless, numerous adjustments are of course necessary in the construction of the new lunar satellites.
Basically, the network should enable both data connections to the earth and navigation on the moon. The connection to earth then relies on Delay / Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN). This is a protocol that enables fast data connections despite the enormous latencies that inevitably arise over a great distance.
Astronauts should be able to use the LunaNet in a similar way to WLAN or cellular networks on earth. By networking the satellites with each other, it will also be possible to communicate with spacecraft that are on the far side of the moon for some time. So far you have been dealing with a radio shadow where manned crews were completely on their own.
The LunaNet will not be limited to the upcoming lunar missions either. Rather, it is already intended as a permanent solution for the future. In the future, the moon could serve as a stepping stone for manned missions to Mars, which could start much more easily from a base of operations on the moon to the next planet.
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