Now Earth-to-moon communications are poised for a new era. With dozens of missions planned for the next decade, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has partnered with the Italian aerospace company Argotec to design a satellite-based lunar network that would provide coverage to most of the moon at any given time. The plan calls for 24 satellites to move in four highly elliptical orbits, relaying signals between the lunar surface and Earth. The network wouldn’t be very fast—it would deliver tens of megabits per second, which is less than a decent fiber-to-the-home hookup.
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