Nokia Picked By NASA For Moon’s First-Ever Cellular Network

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 21, 2020

Nokia said that once the lunar wireless network is established, it will provide communication capabilities for command and control activities, remote control of lunar vehicles, navigation as well as high-definition video streaming.

The $14.1 million contract, awarded to Nokia's U.S. subsidiary, is part of NASA's Artemis programme which aims to send the first woman, and next man, to the moon by 2024.

The company said the technology it's using - the precursor to 5G - is "ideally suited" for providing the kind of wireless connection "that astronauts need".

NASA has selected Nokia (NOK) as a partner to advance "Tipping Point" technologies for the moon, deploying the first LTE/4G communications system in space and helping pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.

Nokia released more details of its involvement after an announcement last week by NASA, which said it was giving the company's USA unit $14.1 million for the network.

It has been a long time since the space race generated much excitement, but the United States space agency - NASA - has apparently been hatching a cunning plan to build a moon base.

Bell Labs will upgrade the network to 5G in the future, though it didn't give a timescale for the project.

However, the company admitted that the harsh lunar landscape and tough atmospheric conditions in space will make setting up the network challenging.

The 4G network on Earth is supported by giant cell towers with enormous power generators and radios.

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. Combining NASA resources with industry contributions "shepherds the development of critical space technologies while also saving the agency, and American taxpayers, money". This 4G/LTE network will allow for a more sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.

NASA invested $106 million in what it calls "lunar surface innovation initiative technology", which helps humans and robots explore more of the moon.

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