Nokia is set to build the first 4G network on the Moon for NASA — it will eventually be upgraded to 5G
Nokiais building the first-ever 4G network that will be used by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts on the Moon.
- NASA awarded Nokia’s Bell Labs $14.1 million to pull this off.
- The network will allow astronauts on the Artemis mission to control vital command functions, operate the lunar rovers from afar, use real-time navigation, and even stream high definition video.
Like 4G networks on Earth, the equipment deployed will support 5G in the future once upgraded.
And, 4G will probably work better on the Moon than it does here on Earth since there aren’t any trees, buildings, or conflicting signals to interfere with its performance.
4G on the Moon by 2022
The new communications system, built in partnership with Intuitive Machines, will be sent up along with the NASA Artemis’ lunar lander scheduled to launch by late 2022 and reach the Moon by 2024.
“Communications will be a crucial component for NASA's Artemis program, which will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon by the end of the decade,” said Nokia in a statement.
According to NASA, 4G could provide more reliable, longer-distance communication than the current radio standards in place on the moon. The network will allow astronauts on the Artemis mission to control vital command functions, operate the lunar rovers from afar, use real-time navigation and even stream high definition video.
Nokia’s Bell Labs — formerly operated by AT&T — will be building the network. However, it also has a long history of space breakthrough. Before its plan to deploy 4G on the Moon, Bell Labs discovered cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, and was responsible for launching the first-ever active orbiting communications satellite with NASA.
Overall, NASA has doled out $370 million to more than a dozen companies to help deploy technology on the Moon as it gets ready to put humans back on the lunar surface after over five decades.
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