NASA chooses Nokia to build 4G network on the Moon

The Finnish company said on Monday that Nokia has been selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon, while the US space agency plans a future in which humans return and establish lunar settlements.

NASA plans to send humans back to the moon by 2024 and work on a long-term presence on the satellite through the Artemis program.

Nokia said the first wireless broadband system in space will be built on the lunar surface in late 2022, before humans return there.

The company will partner with a private Texas-based spacecraft design company Intuitive Machines to deliver equipment to the moon using a lunar module. According to Nokia, the network will configure itself and install a 4G / LTE communications system on the moon, although the goal is ultimately to move to 5G.

The network will provide astronauts with voice and video communications and exchange biometric and telemetry data, as well as deploy and remotely control lunar spacecraft and other robotic devices, the company said.

It will be designed to withstand the extreme conditions of launch and landing on the moon and to operate in space. It will need to be sent to the moon in an extremely compact way in order to comply with strict restrictions on the size, weight and energy of cosmic charges.

Nokia said the network will use 4G / LTE, which has been used around the world over the past decade, instead of the latest 5G technology, thanks to more knowledge of the former as well as proven reliability. The company will also “seek space applications for LTE’s successor technology, 5G.”

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