Nokia picked by NASA to put a RAN on the moon

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The project, which involves Nokia building a 4G cellular communication network on the moon, is part of a series of new contracts NASA is awarding for lunar surface research missions.

NASA said that Nokia's system could "support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards". Intuitive Machines will develop a hopping robot that could launch and carry small packages from one lunar site to another, while Alpha Space will create a small laboratory that could land on the moon's surface.

Nokia's 4G technologies will play a part in NASA's Artemis programme which aims to send the first woman to the moon, and the next man, in 2024 to establish a base.

"Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface", said Marcus Weldon, Nokia CTO and Bell Labs President. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. The network will deploy "critical communications fabric for data transmission applications, including the control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography, & streaming of high definition video". The solution has been specially created to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing and to operate in the extreme conditions of space.

The same LTE technologies that have met the world's mobile data and voice needs for the last decade are well suited to provide mission-critical and state-of-the-art connectivity and communications capabilities for any future space expedition. NASA is aiming to have humans back on the moon by 2024 and then plans to establish a long-term presence there under its Artemis programme.

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The collaboration is part of NASA's Tipping Point program, through which the agency hopes to accelerate the development of space-based technologies through investments with private firms.

The network will use 4G LTE - the precursor to 5G - technology on the moon's surface.

Having cellular service on the moon could support communication between lunar landers, rovers, habitats and astronauts, said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Without a doubt, the mission will be a milestone of success in the journey of expanding beyond Earth.

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