June 21, 2024

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The moon will have its own Internet service: NASA and Nokia plan with 4G network

The moon will have its own Internet service: NASA and Nokia plan with 4G network

NASA plans to start this project in 2024, but has not set a specific date. Effy/Aaron M. Sprecher

The possibility of communicating from the Moon as if we were on Earth is closer to becoming a reality, thanks to an ambitious collaboration between NASA and Nokia.

These two entities are cooperating to implement the first 4G network on the moon, a project that represents the beginning of a new era in space exploration. With the launch of a SpaceX rocket scheduled for this year 2024, which will take this communications technology into space, this project seeks to revolutionize lunar operations.

NASA intends to send two vehicles to the moon as part of its next mission: The Lunar Outpost spacecraft will be responsible for investigating the area called Shackleton Connecting Ridge, while the Micro-Nova hopper is tasked with entering a crater to discover evidence of never-before-seen water ice.

Nokia will provide the system to implement the 4G network. REUTERS/Brendan MacDiarmid/File Photo

Images of lunar ice will be transmitted via the new cellular network to the lander and from there to Earth with minimal delay.

Nokia's contribution, supported by a $14.1 million grant received in 2020is essential for developing a robust communications infrastructure that supports scientific exploration.

Nokia's role in this project, specifically through Bell Labs, its research and development arm, is to design, build and deploy the 4G base station module that will be installed on the Moon. This technology will allow high-quality communications between equipment on the Moon's surface and with Earth, thus supporting scientific and exploratory missions.

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The Nokia base station will use a series of commercial components, adapted to meet stringent space requirements in terms of size, weight and power consumption and, above all, designed to operate in extreme lunar conditions, including extreme temperature variations and high radiation.

SpaceX and Starlink are owned by Elon Musk. Reuters/Dado Rovik/Photo/File

In this historic mission to install a 4G network on the Moon, SpaceX plays a key role by being the company responsible for launching the rocket that will carry the equipment needed to establish the connection.

What is striking about this cooperation is that despite the close relationship between SpaceX and Starlink, the latter was not chosen as the provider of the lunar Internet system. It should be noted that both companies are owned by South African businessman Elon Musk, who also owns Company X.

This project aims to deploy a 4G network on a satellite, which constitutes a crucial step in creating a powerful communications infrastructure beyond our planet.

in the first place, The presence of a cellular network on the Moon allows for efficient, high-quality communication between astronauts on the Moon and mission control on Earth.

4G connectivity will be useful for astronauts communicating with their families on Earth. (picture information)

This is vital to the success of complex missions, because it facilitates the transmission of scientific data, images and high-resolution video in near real-time, allowing scientists and technicians on the ground to analyze critical information with minimal latency.

On the other hand, implementing advanced communications on the Moon is an essential step to sustain human existence in the long term. It would facilitate not only communication between astronauts and Earth, but also between them and potential lunar infrastructure.

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It will also lay the groundwork so that future residents of lunar bases can use personal devices to access services similar to those available on Earth, so astronauts can contact their loved ones.