In 2024, NASA plans to send the first woman to the moon as part of the Artemis mission. Now we are preparing the technical base, as well as a set of candidates. One of the questions that until recently remained unresolved is whether GPS will work on the moon so that astronauts can navigate the terrain. After a thorough study of this topic, NASA is ready to give a definite answer.
Thanks to satellite navigation systems on Earth, you can determine the location of an object with an accuracy of several meters and even centimeters. However, from the moon to the nearest satellite – 385,000 kilometers. Despite this distance, NASA says that even on the moon, GPS will do a good job of doing it.
To test the hypothesis, space agency engineers created a global map of all orbits from several satellite systems: GPS in the USA, Galileo in Europe and GLONASS in Russia. A total of 81 satellites are available. Most of them are equipped with antennas directed towards the Earth, which also emit signals into space. According to NASA, a compact receiver will be enough for astronauts to receive signals on the lunar surface. Moreover, each time they will be able to see from 5 to 13 satellites. Currently, positioning accuracy reaches from 200 to 300 meters, but by 2024, engineers promise to improve this figure.