We might still be working out all the private space flight details of getting humans back up on the moon, but when we finally do arrive, there will already be wi-fi. Phew!
In an extremely cool development, researchers at NASA and MIT have figured out a technique to beam wireless Internet connectivity up to the moon. Seriously, you could sit up there on your laptop and catch up on the latest news, or stream the back catalog of your favorite sci-fi series on Netflix. On the freaking moon.
To accomplish the feat, the team has devised a method of beaming wireless connectivity to the moon from a ground base in New Mexico using telescopes and lasers. According to Salon, the transmission utilizes four telescopes connected to a laser transmitter to feed coded pulses of infrared light through it. Those signals travel toward a satellite orbiting the moon.
Researchers have managed to connect and match speeds comparable to your basic low-tier wi-fi account here on good ol’ planet Earth. It’s not much faster than that because, not surprisingly, MIT researcher Mark Stevens notes it is “doubly difficult” because the beams start to spread and the atmosphere can cause problems.
Here’s hoping they can hash out the speed issues by the time our moon base is complete. You know, so we can host videogame tournaments on our PlayStation 6s and perform other very important moon-related tasks.