CBS Local — Astronauts are finally getting the thing they need most in space: 4G phone service. Nokia is partnering with telecom company Vodafone Germany to build the first mobile phone network on the moon.
The project is scheduled to launch in 2019 as part of a privately funded lunar mission being undertaken by the Berlin-based team Part Time Scientists. “In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet,” PTScientists founder Robert Böhme said in a joint statement with Nokia.
Vodafone gave Nokia the tough task of creating a space-aged version of their ultra compact network, which will reportedly be one of the lightest ever designed at just over two pounds. “It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness,” Vodafone Germany CEO Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter added.
The first mission to the moon since 1972 will reportedly feature two lunar rovers from carmaker Audi and a lunar lander similar to the NASA versions which first explored Earth’s lone satellite.
The team of companies added that the moon’s new 4G network will be able to send back the first ever live HD video feed from the Moon’s surface. PTScientists, who plan to study the last lunar rover left behind in 1972, plans to broadcast their mission globally using a deep space link connecting the astronauts to their command base in Berlin.