Since the late 1950s, humans have put thousands of satellites into Earth orbit. These devices, which move several kilometers above our heads, have become a key element for communications, defense and scientific researchalthough they have also contributed to the growing problem of space debris and the contamination of the firmament.
Our ambition and drive to do difficult things sometimes seems limitless. In this sense, we are already thinking about developing satellite constellations on the Moon to be able to communicate with a view to a future and long-awaited colonization. And it will not be the first satellites that we will put into orbit outside the Earth, it is that over the years various countries have devices to Mars and other planets.
Another important step to colonize the Moon
Before establishing permanent bases on our natural satellite, we will have to make sure that we meet certain essential requirements. In addition to guaranteeing the availability of oxygen, food and energy, our care must also focus on communications. Since the systems installed on Earth will not work, there are those who are already thinking of solutions for this scenario against the clock.
One of the companies involved in this is Lockheed Martin, the famous US aerospace and defense contractor. The company has announced plans to build its own communications and positioning infrastructure on the Moon, a network it promises will serve as a link between the different lunar outposts and Earth. Let’s look at some examples to better understand its scope.
With this proposed system, astronauts and lunar rovers will be able to explore different regions of the surface without losing communications with the rest of the team and our planet. Besides, thanks to a GPS equivalent, they will know at all times where they are, in other words, it will be impossible to get lost. Lockheed does not want to waste time and has already taken the first steps.
To materialize the project, the American company has created a subsidiary called Crescent Space Services LLC, which will build and provide its services on the Moon to different governments of the world. It is not a project exclusively for NASA and the United States, at least on paper. The idea is to satisfy the demand for communications to all the actors who want to establish themselves on the Moon.
The heart of Parsec, which is what the service will be called, will be small satellites called Curio. These will form part of a communication network that will expand over time. From the company they affirm that the service will be ready before we humans return to the Moonspecifically for 2025 (the manned moon landing is scheduled to take place that same year with Artemis III).
It should be noted that this is not the only proposal for satellite communications on the Moon. Draper and Intuitive Machines, which are developing NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) landers, also plans to put satellites into orbit. And by the way, our natural satellite is currently orbited by several artificial satellites from various countries for research purposes.
Images: Lockheed Martin
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