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German company to set up cell phone tower on the moon

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Staff Writer | August 14, 2017
Part Time Scientists, a start-up company in Germany, is making plans to send the first telecommunication infrastructure to the #moon, NBC News reports.
Part Time Scientists
Communications   Part Time Scientists
In partnership with Vodafone, the company will embark on their mission to install the first mobile base-station on the lunar surface next year. It will allow much faster access to astronauts and Earth, as well as speedier transmission of data from one orbital to another.

“Using the LTE modem to transmit our data is much more energy efficient than using direct Earth communication,” Karsten Becker, head of embedded electronics development and integration for PTScientists, told

How does it work? According to Becker, a rover derives 90 watts of energy from its solar panels.

He says that half of that energy goes into driving, and the other half goes to the modem to connect directly to Earth. “With LTE, it’s significantly less,” he said.

The company has a launch contract to send rovers to the Apollo 17 site in late 2018, the site of NASA’s last mission to the moon in 1972.

In place of rover’s sophisticated communication system, they will use 4G LTE technology to contact Earth, the same technology used for cell phone connectivity.