As humanity prepares to set base on the Moon, it is going to need a reliable energy source, a fuel source, and most importantly, an effective mode of communication. And what better way to facilitate communications than WiFi?
Considering how some of us still struggle with finding high-speed internet connections despite WiFi being around since the 90s, it could be hard to imagine getting high-speed internet in space. However, a space start-up just revealed that its early-stage space internet project has secured $650,000 (nearly five crore Indian rupees) in seed funding to work on research and technical studies to connect the Earth, its Moon and possibly Mars to broadband!
The start-up, called Aquarian Space, secured funding from Draper Associates and hopes to establish its first lunar communications system by 2024.
The company plans to bring high-speed internet between the Earth, the Moon and Mars in future years, fast enough to stream 4K video. Aquarian is calling it Solnet, and it would use high-speed delivery satellite networks with speeds of 100 Mbps. While it is nowhere near fiber optic’s 1 Gbps speed, it is certainly much faster than the 50-60 Mbps average in India.
“Our Space-Based Relay Network allows you to send and receive high volumes of uninterrupted streaming data quickly and reliably, 24/7. Governments and commercial space explorers are depending on innovative commercial telecom providers to fill this growing demand,” Aquarian Space said on its website.
There were only 13 landers, orbiters and rovers on and around the Moon in 2021. But this number will change rapidly — by 2030, the number is likely to rise up to 200 vehicles, which is why we need a solid, reliable Earth to Moon communication system, Kelly Larson, CEO of Aquarian Space, believes.
Aquarian Space is conducting technical evaluations with many firms involved in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme, as well as other companies in the United States and around the world interested in moon missions, according to the corporation.
CLPS will launch numerous payloads, landers and other research instruments to the Moon later in the 2020s to support NASA’s Artemis mission, which intends to land humans on the Moon by the end of the decade.
Aquarian will provide its services to government defense agencies, international space organisations like NASA and ISRO, and commercial names like SpaceX and BlueOrigin.
Aquarian claims that in addition to high-speed Internet, it hopes to integrate space situation awareness for issues like observing space debris, tracking space weather, and giving scientific information from the Moon and Mars.
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