Parsec – an Earth-Moon communication and navigation network from Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin announced the creation of a subsidiary Crescent Space, which will take care of the development of Parsec communication and navigation satellite networks in the Earth-Moon system.
The need for stable communications and a reliable positioning system on the Moon and its orbit is related to the increase in the number of lunar missions and the approach of critical missions of the Artemis program.
Crescent Space is about to create a constellation of small lunar satellites Parsec, which will provide both communication of subscribers in orbit and on the surface of the Moon, and something like lunar GPS. The first nodes of the Parsec network should be deployed in 2025, even before the start of the Artemis 3 mission, which is supposed to return people to the Moon.
Technologically, the Parsec constellation relies on already existing technologies. It is a modular Curio cubesat platform built by NASA for the Janus and Lunar Trailblazer missions; the SmartSat software platform, which allows satellites to be reconfigured and reprogrammed right in orbit; and COMPASS/Horizon software to automate mission planning and satellite management.