UK boffins plan lunar mobile network

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UK boffins plan lunar mobile network

British scientists are planning to build a mobile phone network that operates on the Moon..

The proposal was contained in a report compiled by Nasa and the British National Space Centre on joint co-operation for exploration of the Moon in the coming years.

Plans include a space probe called MoonLITE (Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment) which will fire probes into the lunar surface and communicate using a mobile phone protocol to send back information on earthquake activity.

"The proposed missions provide an opportunity to harness the UK's world-class expertise in small satellite, communication and robotic technologies focused on exploration of the Moon," said Professor Keith Mason, chief executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

"This joint report represents a milestone in our co-operation with Nasa while building on our longstanding collaboration in highly successful science missions such as Swift, Stereo, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Cassini."

The plan is now being sent for peer review by other scientists and, if approved, will take place after 2012.
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