NASA plans to return humans to the Moon by 2024, but there are still plenty of questions about how that will work. One challenge is that communicating between Earth and the Moon still requires bulky, expensive equipment. A new company, CommStar Space Communications, wants to take the burden of building and managing that equipment off of governments and private space ventures. Today, CommStar announced plans to launch a private data relay satellite (“CommStar-1”) that could serve as communications infrastructure for space missions.
The company hopes to launch CommStar-1 by 2023. The satellite will be capable of relaying optical and radio frequency communications between the Moon and Earth, and eventually it could facilitate communication beyond the Moon.