Nokia is teaming up with NASA to ensure that a new wave of lunar astronauts can post their experience on their Instagram account if they wish. The Finnish telecom company will receive $ 14.1m from the US Space Agency to build a 4G cellphone network over the moon. The announcement comes as part of the $ 370m of contracts released yesterday, as NASA pushes towards the moon’s return in 2024 – with the first crew of the Artemis mission expected to include at least one woman.
The contract has been awarded to the US subsidiary of Nokia but will attract the experience of the entire company. “The system can support lunar surface communications over longer distances, increase speed, and provide greater reliability than current standards, ”NASA said in awarding the contract.
The 4G network will be used as a notch for astronauts, vehicles and any future permanent moonbase: “With NASA funding, Nokia will focus on how terrestrial technology can be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications., “Adds Jim Reuter, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
During the original 1969–1972 Apollo missions, engineers were fully reliant on radio communications, using NASA’s 2-4Ghz ‘S-band’, a network of transmitters, base stations, and relays back to Earth I through. A digital, cellular service will be a major improvement in terms of the quality and efficiency of surface-to-surface communication, when we return to live on the moon. This gives rise to the question of why 5G is not being considered. We believe this is because 5G signals can only reach short distances, meaning more base stations will be required. 4G will do enough in those early days, with very little infrastructure. Maybe the moon gets a 5G (or 6G) upgrade after settling on the surface. Just don’t expect Huawei to win that tender.
Featured image: Moon photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
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