The European Space Agency is proposing in this decade to build a constellation of communications and GPS-type satellites, dubbed Moonlight, to orbit the Moon.
ESA is asking two industrial consortia in Europe to define what an integrated sat-nav and telecoms system at the Moon would look like.
It’ll include a constellation of at least three, but probably more, positioning-and-relay satellites to give global coverage, and will likely include some surface beacons, too, to augment the accuracy of the navigation signals.
“The target we have at the moment is that the constellation would be able to allow for an accuracy of 100m and probably better. We think we are able to get to 30m in the first instance,” explained Paul Verhoef, the director of ESA’s navigation department.
The two consortiums are the UK’s Surrey Satellite and Italy’s Telespazio.
It also appears the ESA is proposing making this system available to all lunar exploration missions, whether they be part of the U.S.’s Artemis program or China’s lunar plans. If so, it is commercially smart, as they will have plenty of customers to buy their services.
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From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
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