STARTUP Aquarian Space has plans to bring WiFi to the moon in under two years.
The company just received $650,000 in seed funding to deliver high-speed internet to the Moon, and maybe even Mars.
Funding came from California-based Draper Associates – the same venture capitalists who first invested in SpaceX, according to Inverse.
Aquarian Space is hoping to deploy its first lunar communications system, designated Solnet, by 2024.
As missions to the Moon and deep space are only expected to increase in the future, the startup is hoping to get ahead of the curve.
“In 2021 there were 13 landers, orbiters, and rovers on and around the moon,” Kelly Larson, CEO of Aquarian Space, said in a statement released Thursday.
“By 2030, we will have around 200, creating a multibillion-dollar lunar economy. But this can’t happen without solid, reliable Earth-to-moon communications,” Larson added.
In order to realize its vision, Solnet will utilize high-speed delivery satellite networks with speeds of 100 megabits per second.
“Our Space-Based Relay Network allows you to send and receive high volumes of uninterrupted streaming data quickly and reliably, 24 /7,” Aquarian Space states on its website.
“Governments and commercial space explorers are depending on innovative commercial telecom providers to fill this growing demand.”
The first Solnet satellite is expected to launch in 2024, and a second will follow in 2025 to cover the Moon’s South Pole.
It is not clear yet what type of satellites the company is specifically using for the project.
At present, Aquarian Space is undergoing technical reviews at NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, per Space.com.
According to the aeronautical startup, companies will not need to alter spacecraft designs in order for them to work with Aquarian’s technology.
Besides providing high-speed Internet, Aquarian also wants to track space weather and gather scientific information from the Moon and Mars.
Other companies hoping to launch their own communications satellite in space include European startup Plus Ultra Space Outposts and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
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