aerospace development company Lockheed Martin has announced the opening of a subsidiary which will be dedicated to the development of a satellite communication network that connect the crew and equipment of the missions that are sent to the Moon soon with the Earth. Will be called Crescent Space Servicesand his first big project is parseca “new cislunar navigation and communications network”.
Parsec will put into operation a constellation of small satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, that will connect lunar explorers with each other and with base control on Earth. According to Lockheed Martin, Parsec communications between the Earth and the Moon will be “completely controlled by the network«, which will save those involved in mission planning the time spent on IT support, so that they can focus on the operations more specific to the mission.
In addition to being a communications network, Parsec will also function as a lunar positioning system, informing those on the ground of its exact location, hidden dangers, and even how far back to base. In addition, it will be developed in accordance with the interoperability standards of LunaNet, a framework that NASA has developed and which, among other things, is in charge of specifying the time on the Moon, necessary to coordinate various missions on the Earth’s satellite. .
LunaNet is made up of different interface requirements, standards, and protocols, which would help lunar missions work together without having to roll back progress and add interoperability standards later. This problem has already occurred with some satellite navigation systems on Earth.
The components necessary to create this Parsec network, and place it in space, already exist: they are the Lockheed Martin’s Curio satellite systems, which NASA has selected for its Janus and Lunar Trailblazer missions. Also its SmartSat satellite software and its COMPASS/Horizon mission planning and control software.
From Crescent they have assured that they already have plans to offer more services in the future, with the aim of «give more capabilities to science, exploration and commerce on the Moon and in deep space«. Of course, everything depends on getting contracts to be able to do it.
The company has stated that “With increasing interest in a return to the Moon, there is an immediate area of opportunity for Crescent. It is well positioned to service the next wave of lunar science and exploration missions, including the crewed landings on the moon of Artemis.«. This has been pointed out by Crescent CEO Joe Landon, who has come to Crescent from his role as Lockheed Martin’s Vice President and Head of Lunar Infrastructure Services. Of course, it has not clarified if they have already obtained a contract.
Meanwhile, at Crescent they plan to launch the first satellites of the Parsec constellation in 2025, adding more nodes to them over time. Lockheed Martin has ensured that the Parsec equipment has the necessary funding for its development and launch, and is already being manufactured.