Satellite connection: Moon will get a 4G network

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Published: March 2, 2018 4:36:51 AM

Moon will get a 4G network, set up by private companies. What does this mean for space colonisation?

Satellite, 4G network, German space company, PTScientists, Vodafone, Nokia, solar system, Type I civilisation, Outer Space Treaty, earth, mars, Home PlanetThe network will connect two Audi lunar rovers to a base station in a spacecraft that would have carried the vehicles there. (IE)

The Moon is all set to get its own 4G network by 2019—communication giants Vodafone and Nokia are doing all that is needed. At the core of this space-adventure are the ambitions of a private German space company—PTScientists. They want to launch the first privately funded moon landing. This, they believe, is essential for exploration of the solar system, especially as the future of Home Planet seems bleak. Infrastructure must be ready for Earth’s neighbours in our star system to host us. That, of course, is a long way. Planets and satellites must first be made inhabitable. But, there is no doing this without data, and data needs a network to be transmitted. Ergo, 4G on the moon. The network will connect two Audi lunar rovers to a base station in a spacecraft that would have carried the vehicles there. The rovers will communicate and transfer data such as HD video via the 4G network.

All this should make you wonder if we are already entering an era of space colonisation. The fact is humans have been at the cusp of becoming a Type I civilisation on the Kardashev scale for some time now—the Kardashev scale is one that classifies civilisations (hypothetical ones, other than humans) across the universe by the amount of energy they are able to harness, and a Type I civilisation is one that has harnessed all the energy its home planet gets from the star it orbits. But, instead of having achieved that sustainably, we are now scrambling for alternative planets. Tesla founder Elon Musk has little but putting man on Mars on his mind.

Nasa has been routinely looking around in the neighbourhood for an alternative home, one that is as Earth-like as possible and has been reporting discoveries of potentials more frequently than before. Given that sovereigns are bound by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to not attempt colonising space, private companies are worthy proxies. Sovereigns must, after all, protect corporate citizens interest, even when they have long passed an escape velocity of 11.2km/s. This changes the rules of the game. Only a handful of nations, including India, have developed space capabilities. But, now it is about letting companies do the same under their jurisdictions. That is the only ticket out of a dying planet.

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