National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has granted Nokia $14.1 million to build the first-ever 4G mobile network on the moon.
After being announced as NASA’s partner in the launch of the first ever cellular network on the Moon, Nokia took to its official blog to make an announcement.
“Nokia Bell Labs’ pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022,” Nokia wrote.
To achieve NASA’s aim of building a lunar base and eventually sustain human presence on the moon by 2028, Aeronautics giant awarded $370 million to over a dozen companies to deploy technology on the lunar surface.
As part of the investments NASA is making towards achieving its goal, the agency has also invested $53 million in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s company – SpaceX.
According to a report by CNN, some of the innovations expected to be on the Moon include remote power generation, cryogenic freezing, robotics, safer landing and 4G.
The idea, according to Nokia, is to provide the kind of technology that makes it possible to remotely control lunar rovers, or allow real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video.
“The solution has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing, and to operate in the extreme conditions of space,” Nokia states.
In addition, the Finnish company states that the
“Lunar network consists of an LTE Base Station with integrated Evolved Packet Core (EPC) functionalities, LTE User Equipment, RF antennas and high-reliability operations and maintenance (O&M) control software.”
The investment is part of NASA’s “Tipping Point” scheme, which funds lunar tech developments for its “Artemis” program.
The investments will help NASA meet its goals of sending the first woman and next man to the moon in 2024, having a lunar base on the moon by 2028, and establishing a sustainable presence there by 2030.
Jim Bridenstine, an administrator at NASA, spoke on the mission NASA is embarking on, he said:
“Together, NASA and industry are building up an array of mission-ready capabilities to support a sustainable presence on the Moon, and future human missions to Mars.”