Talking to the moon: Europe pitches lunar satellites plan

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency has presented a vision to put satellites in orbit around the moon that would facilitate future missions to Earth’s closest neighbor. The plan unveiled Thursday would see ESA offer communications and navigation services to any country that wants to carry out lunar exploration missions. By relying services provided from lunar orbit, space agencies would be able to design their moon landers without the need for cumbersome communications and navigation devices on board. This would free up space to carry other cargo, making each launch more cost-effective. The agency’s member states would be given a formal proposal for a constellation next year.