Manned moon trips, satellite walks of the Earth or even settlements – the moon is a dream destination for mankind. International search teams are currently planning moon missions, but one critical requirement is missing: a dedicated line.
The European Space Agency ESA wants to establish a permanent connection with the moon. Today she made an important step in her “Moonlight” project. Its target is a network of satellites around the moon. The contract is concluded with two consortiums to develop plans for communications and navigation services.
Moonlight aims to ensure both communication on the satellite to the earth and communication with the earth. “We are connecting the moon,” – explained Elodie Viau, ESA’s Director for Integrated Communications and Applications. The satellite network aims to benefit both scientific and commercial purposes, and make individual missions more cost-effective and space research more sustainable. Hopefully, at some point, it will facilitate settling and living on the moon.
Several companies will work on this, including satellite manufacturers, aerospace engineering firms, and British and Italian space agencies. You are now in the process of creating “detailed specifications for the provision of communications and navigation services for missions to the moon,” according to the European Space Agency.
The tried and tested technology will also be integrated into the “Moonlight” project, such as the European “Galileo” satellite navigation system project.
This would make it easier for EU member states to start their own missions to the Moon, even on a small budget. The horizon should broaden significantly: “This will help us clear the way for the mission to Mars and beyond,” Elodie Viau said.