Soon, we might see the lunar astronauts posting their images and statuses on Instagram or Facebook from the Moon. And they would be using the Nokia 4G network on the sole natural satellite of the earth.
Yes, Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company Nokia is gearing up to roll out its 4G network on the Moon. The tech giant is about to receive $14.1 million funding from US space agency NASA t built a 4G cellphone network on the Moon.
This project comes as NASA has announced a slew of contracts last week worth $370 million. NASA is pushing towards a landing to the Moon in 2024, with at least one woman to be part of the Artemis crew. This will be the first time NASA will conduct a manned Moon landing after the December 1972 Apollo 17 mission.
The $14.1 million worth contract has been awarded to the Nokia’s US subsidiary. However, this project will draw the experience and expertise of the whole company. This 4G cellphone network by Nokia, would support the lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds and provide reliability than the current standards, as NASA claimed.
Astronauts, lunar vehicles will use this Nokia 4G network. Also, this would help in setting up any future Moonbase.
According to NASA’s Associate Administrator of Space Technology Mission Directorate, Jim Reuters, Nokia will look at how terrestrial technology could be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications.
During NASA’s Apollo missions in between 1969-1972, engineers used to completely rely on radio communications through a network of transmitters, base stations and relays, back on earth, using the US space agency’s ‘S-Band’ of 2-4 GHz. In comparison, a 4G cellular network will be a giant leap in terms of quality and efficiency improvement for surface-to-surface communication.
With the 4G technology in place, the communication system on the Moon will be far better with less infrastructure. Maybe there will be a 5G or even a 6G network as well once there is a permanent Moonbase. It would be really interesting to see if Huawei also attempts something similar or win a tender for that!