The early-stage satellite internet project has just received $650,000 in seed funding to work on development and technical reviews to connect the Earth and the Moon and possibly Mars with broadband.
Aquarian Space announced funding from Draper Associates Thursday (March 17) as a step along its ultimate goal of bringing high-speed internet between Earth, the Moon and Mars in the coming years, fast enough to stream 4K video. The company aims to deploy the first communications system on the moon by 2024.
Aquarian said in a statement that the startup’s vision is to create what it calls Solnet, built on “high commercial data rate and high-speed delivery satellite networks” at speeds of 100 megabits per second. (That’s much faster than the average internet speeds Americans enjoy, with SlashGear recently reported A typical American resident surfing at the age of under 30).
“In 2021, there were 13 landers, orbiters and rover vehicles on and around the Moon,” Aquarian Space CEO Kelly Larson said in the statement. “By 2030, we will have about 200, which will create a billion-dollar lunar economy. But this cannot happen without strong and reliable communications from the Earth to the Moon.”
Aquarian Space is conducting technical reviews with several companies participating in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, the company said, along with other companies in the United States and targeting lunar missions internationally.
CLPS will see many payloads, landers, and other science equipment flying to the lunar surface later in the 1920s in support of NASA. Artemis programwhich aims to put humans on the moon sometime during this decade.
Aquarian hopes to offer “comprehensive data and communications services by 2024” with the various companies it interacts with, though details were not disclosed other than to say that customers would not need to change their design to accommodate Aquarian technology.
Aquarian eventually plans to launch a space-based relay data service called Solnet, but it has released few technical details so far such as what types of satellites it intends to use, or how it will transmit those satellites into space.
Besides high speed internet, Aquarian Says It plans to include awareness of the state of space, including looking at space debris, tracking space weather, and providing scientific information from the Moon and Mars.