Future travelers should not stumble upon the moon at random. Therefore, the celestial body must be equipped with its own system for satellite navigation. Announces ESA, the European Space Agency.
In the next few years, a number of new explorations to the moon are planned. Starting next year, for example, Japan, China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates plan to launch lunar landers and spacecraft to explore the mountains and valleys of the celestial body in various projects. And in 2024, NASA plans again, for the first time in more than 50 years, to allow astronauts to walk on the surface of the moon.
A little later, there are also plans to create a permanent moon base. So now is the time to beautify the digital infrastructure of the moon, according to the European Space Agency and NASA.
The result oscillates
Today, lunar travelers rely on signals from large and expensive networks of antennas on Earth to get to the right place. For those who are used to just entering an address into the phone, it’s an incomprehensibly slow procedure, which also leads to a somewhat shaky result. Instead of being accurate to a few meters, a person who would land on the moon might be grateful if the site did not deviate more than a few kilometers.
Therefore, the European Space Agency and NASA have commissioned two consortia to develop plans for how to equip the moon with its own network of satellites.
“A robust and reliable navigation and communication system will make dozens of planned lunar missions more cost-effective, and enable even smaller countries to become space travel nations that inspire future generations of scientists and engineers,” said Elodi Viau of the European Space Agency. Press release.
Video meetings from the back
In addition to facilitating navigation, satellites will allow large amounts of information to be sent faster than today, for example from the back of the moon. The relationship there is so bad that the American astronaut Michael Collins felt “lonely in a way never before seen on Earth” when in 1969 he orbited revolutions around the moon, waiting for fellow travelers Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to return from flight down the surface of the celestial body .
This shouldn’t be the case when you are on or near the moon, according to the European Space Agency and NASA.
“Now we’re all used to video meetings,” says Elodi Viau. “Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to call by Skype from the moon.”
As plans are now, satellites could be in place by the end of this decade.
Facts: Man and the Moon
The first thing humans made to reach the moon was the Soviet Luna 2, which landed in 1959.
In 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon’s surface and American Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon’s surface.
China made its first moon landing in 2013. In January 2019, the Chang’e-4 spacecraft landed on the moon’s surface, something that no country has ever succeeded in.
A few other countries, including Japan and India, have attempted to send spacecraft to the moon.