Leonardo's goal is to "put online" the satellite to support dozens of space missions: this is how Italy wants to bring the Internet on the Moon.
It looks like Elon Musk's latest venture, but this time it is an Italian initiative (also). Our country, in fact, although less frequently associated with the exploration of new frontiers in space than other nations, is at the forefront to connect the Moon to the Internet.
The purpose is to facilitate space travelers to find their way among the stars, thanks to an efficient communications system. The scenario is closely linked to the future of our satellite, in which humans and robots will work side by side.
What is the Italian study to connect the Moon to the Internet
As is often said in these cases: it sounds like science fiction, but it is reality. The above scenario becomes even more concrete if it is described by Luigi Pasquali, head of the joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, called Telespazio, in business with the European Space Agency (ESA) for a feasibility study able to "ensure essential services" to the above operations, "in particular connectivity, communications and positioning", these are Pasquali's words.
In Telespazio's research are involved innovative companies and SMEs, but also universities such as the Politecnico di Milano and Bocconi. Surrey Satellite Technology, a U.K.-based satellite company, is conducting a sister study. Both companies will have a year to evaluate a proposal based on the needs of those (space agencies and commercial users) who will be launching lunar activities over the next decade.
What is ESA's Moonlight project and why is it important for space colonization
Telespazio's activity is part of the project called "Moonlight", with which ESA intends to launch into orbit a constellation of satellites capable of making the Moon more accessible to private and public operators who will want to take part in scientific research or commercial activities and development of new services in the coming years.
The telecommunications system, in particular, will serve to create an efficiency in terms of cost and practicability, such as to allow even the smallest countries to become space nations. In fact, the missions planned for the Moon (if you were wondering to whom the satellite belongs, here is the answer) for the next years are dozens and, now it's official, also Italy will contribute to breed a new generation of engineers and scientists that will look at the stars as a natural destination for mankind.