Nokia Will Provide Internet Connectivity… On The Moon!

Kilopower

"Leveraging our rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first ever cellular communications network on the Moon", said Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs President. This move is also part of NASA's upcoming space missions under the Artemis program, which aims to send the next humans on the Moon, including the first woman.

The US subsidiary of the brand was given a $14.1 million contract to develop the network which would be described as "ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened".

It will partner with a Texas-based private spacecraft design company, Intuitive Machines, to deliver the equipment to the moon on their lunar lander.

Once that lander reaches the moon, the network will self-configure and provide the very first 4G LTE connectivity on the Moon. NASA says that "the system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards". "These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface".

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The network will give astronauts voice and video communications capabilities, and allow telemetry and biometric data exchange, as well as the deployment and remote control of lunar rovers and other robotic devices, according to the company.

Nokia announced that it was chosen by NASA to launch a portable and wireless 4G network to be placed on the lunar surface.

NASA also plans to eventually upgrade the 4G network on the moon to a 5G network. The moon's cellular network will also be specially created to withstand the particularities of the lunar surface: extreme temperature, radiation and space's vacuum.

To this end, NASA has developed what it calls an advanced exploration extravehicular mobility unit, or xEMU, for humans to wear whilst on the harsh environment of the Moon's surface. Nokia says that it will work on developing space applications for 5G connectivity.

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