The Next Frontier of Communication

The days of pay phones and long-distance rates seem almost as distant a memory as telegrams and carrier pigeons. As smartphones have essentially become an extension of ourselves, some people have developed a legitimate fear of being separated from their phone. (Do you have nomophobia?)

We depend on technology to help us achieve anything from health and fitness goals to successfully navigating a foreign country. Technological innovators like Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos have shown us that the limits of technology can stretch as far as a visionary’s imagination. But will our mobile technologies keep up the same pace as their ideas of grandeur?

Last week, Bezos proposed the next step in his previously announced plan to colonize the moon: lunar settlements. The billionaire predicts that within the next century, heavy industry will be relocated to the moon, where it will reduce the burden on Earth’s natural resources. Bezos concedes the Earth’s standing as a residential zone, but an on-site labor force will need to support lunar-based industry. The commute between Earth and the moon would be hellish, but satellite communications technology should be able to keep up with the demands of an inner-galactic society.

But what about deep space communication in the Milky Way? Because while Bezos is off colonizing the Moon, Musk has set his sights elsewhere in our solar system. The creator of SpaceX anticipates launching his mission to Mars by this time next year; a trip he predicts eventually could be completed in just 30 days.

Before FaceTime, the idea of free international calling wasn’t even a possibility. Is it really that crazy to imagine a future with interplanetary communication?

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