Audi Is Helping Give the Moon a Cell Phone Network
The automaker is already working to send a vehicle to the Moon.
It doesn't seem likely that humans will start living on the Moon anytime soon, but Audi is teaming up with Vodafone and Nokia to give Earth's sole natural satellite its own cell-phone network. The three companies hope to have it up and running by next year, reports Reuters.
The companies said the cell network will be a prelude to a privately-funded Moon mission. Nokia will develop the actual hardware which, because every added ounce makes it that much harder to lift a spacecraft beyond Earth's gravity, must weigh less than a bag of sugar. The companies will stick with a 4G network rather than 5G because that technology is still relatively new, and its reliability isn't proven.
The three companies will work with German contingent PTScientists (short for Part Time Scientists), and are aiming for a 2019 launch. The hardware will be put in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and launched from Cape Canaveral, according to Vodafone.
Audi is already working with PTScientists to develop a lunar rover, as part of a bid to claim the $20 million Google-funded Lunar XPrize. Dubbed "Audi Lunar Quattro," the electric rover features all-wheel drive, just like Audi's terrestrial cars, but with six wheels instead of four. If all goes well, the Lunar Quattro could be the first wheeled vehicle to traverse the Moon since the original Boeing/General Motors lunar rovers landed there more than 40 years ago.
- RELATEDAre We Really Going Back to the Moon, As Trump Claims?President Trump has directed NASA to refocus its efforts on manned exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond. But can it actually happen?READ NOW
- RELATEDNASA Reinvents the Wheel With Magic Chainmail Tires For the Moon, Mars, and BeyondThe new material is capable of deforming all the way down to the hub—and springing right back into shape.READ NOW
- RELATEDJapan Wants to Put a Man on the Moon by 2030To boldly go where 12 men have gone before.READ NOW
- RELATEDJeff Bezos Wants to Bring Amazon Prime-Like Delivery to the MoonThe Amazon and Blue Origin bossman is looking to set up regular lunar deliveries of supplies ahead of human settlement.READ NOW
- RELATEDSpaceX Already Booked Tourists For Trip Around the MoonMoney may not buy you happiness, but it can buy you a trip around the moon.READ NOW