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Mobiles on the moon? Nasa prepares trial for takeoff

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Tags: moon, space, nasa, message

By Nick Heath

Published: 19 February 2008 11:42 GMT

After conquering the farthest corners of the globe, mobile phones are now destined for the final frontier - space.

Wireless from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more�

A is for Antivirus
B is for Bluetooth
C is for The Cloud
D is for dotMobi
E is for Email
F is for FMC
G is for GPS
H is for HSDPA
I is for i-mode
J is for Japan Air
K is for Korea
L is for LBS
M is for M2M
N is for NFC
O is for Operating systems
P is for Pubs
Q is for QoS
R is for Roaming
S is for Satellite
T is for TV
U is for UMTS
V is for Virgin
W is for WiMax
X is for XDA
Y is for Yucca
Z is for Zigbee

Even in the cosmos there will be no escaping the ringtone as Nasa and the British National Space Centre (BNSC) prepare to trial a mobile phone network for the moon.

Astronauts and robots exploring the moon's surface will only be a text message away after the system goes live later this century.

The satellite system should ensure a full four-bar signal for lunar colonists living in the base Nasa wants to build at the south pole of the moon after 2020.

The stellar vision of the mobile's future even tops the effort that managed to get a text message to the top of Mount Everest.

Phone calls and other information would be bounced off satellites orbiting the moon for communication between colonists, the moon base and the earth.

The joint Nasa/BNSC MoonLite mission, due to be launched after 2012, will test a prototype version of the satellite phone network - similar to the Inmarsat network on Earth.

During the MoonLite mission a lunar orbiter would use the technology to transmit information about the structure of the moon back to earth from scientific instruments buried in the lunar soil.

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