Soon, astronauts on moon missions will have no excuse for not answering their texts.
NASA awarded Nokia of America $ 14.1 million to deploy a cellular network on the moon. The freaking months. The grant is part of a $ 370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA’s “Tipping Point” selections, intended to advance research and development for space exploration.
Nokia’s plan was to build a 4G / LTE network, and later switch to 5G (like the rest of us). This will be “the first LTE / 4G communication system in space,” NASA announced.
“The system can support communications over the moon over longer distances, increase speed, and provide more reliability than current standards,”; the announcement also reads.
Until the moon! 🌕
We are excited to be named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way for a sustainable human presence on the moon.
So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6) pic.twitter.com/wDNwloyHdP
– Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
Nokia’s research arm, Bell Labs, provided more details in a Twitter thread. The company aims to support the network’s wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation, as well as streaming video.
The network is built to be compact and efficient, as well as “specially designed to withstand extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum space conditions.”
According to UPI, NASA said in a live broadcast announcement that the network will expand into spacecraft, and will help develop technology suitable for the moon. While there are no details about the timeline of this project becoming a reality, everyone supports NASA’s goal of having a month based on the month by 2028, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in the broadcast. After all, how else can astronauts take Instagram to walk on the moon ?!