NASA has awarded Nokia the US $14.1 million to deploy a 4G cellular network on the moon.
The grant is part of $370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA's "Tipping Point" selections, which aim to advance research and development for space exploration.
"The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speed, and provide more reliability than current standards," NASA said in the contract award announcement.
According to United Press International, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said in a live broadcast that the space agency must rapidly develop new technologies for living and working on the moon if it wants to realize its goals to have astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028.
"We need power systems that can last a long time on the surface of the moon and we need the ability to live on the surface," Bridenstine said.
Bell Labs, Nokia's research arm, provided more details on the Twitter thread. The company intends to support the lunar rover's wireless navigation and operation network, as well as streaming video.
"Working with our partners at @Int_Machines, this groundbreaking network will be the important communications fabric for data transmission applications, including lunar vehicle control, real-time navigation on the geography of the moon, and HD video transmission." Bell Labs said in a tweet.
This is not Nokia's first attempt to launch an LTE network on the moon. It was planned to do so in 2018 in cooperation with PTScientists, a German space company, and Vodafone UK to launch an LTE network at the Apollo 17 landing site, but the mission never got off the ground.
Source: Business Standard
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