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The European Space Agency plans to deploy GPS and Skype on the Moon


May 21, 2021 23:40 GMT

The moonlight satellite constellation could aid the development of future manned lunar missions.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has begun developing a future constellation of satellites orbiting the Moon and will provide navigation and communications services via Global Positioning System (GPS) to lunar explorers.

The plan calls for the system to be installed At the end of this decadeThat is, a few years later than expected Landing on the moon From the NASA Artemis manned mission near the south pole of the satellite.

The European Space Agency expects Earth’s satellite to be a scene of space activity in the coming years, and predicts the named artificial constellation moon light, It is intended to facilitate the development of these expeditions.

“Having a navigation and communications network that brings to Earth what we learn on the moon Critical to sustainability The Director of Communications and Integrated Applications at the European Space Agency, Elodi Fiao, said at a press conference on Thursday.

According to the expert, the technology will make it possible to establish observatories on the far side of the moon, even anywhere “Maybe we can use Skype”And the Report Space.com.

Agency awarded Two federations European industrial concessions to study the feasibility of the project in the next year and a half and to develop technical solutions.

If achieved, the navigation system would make it possible to dispense with the subsystems that each landing unit carries, some of them 40 kg weight It processes incoming data and measures the distance to the moon’s surface to ensure a successful landing. All that the new system requires is a signal receiver and an altimeter. In addition, cutting out bulky subsystems will increase the available space inside the unit, which will allow the transition to the moon. Additional toolsAccording to the director of navigation Paul Verhoef.

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This ESA Director specified that the constellation would consist of Three or four satellites It will provide a navigation system, and that additional satellites can be used to enhance communications.

“Our goal now is to allow the constellation to an accuracy of 100 meters and maybe more: we think we can achieve 30 meters accurately“, He said.

The European Space Agency expects the constellation to be operated by the private sector.

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