San Francisco, 18. Oktober (IANS): NASA has awarded Nokia $ 14.1 million for providing a 4G cellular network on the moon.
The grant is part of $ 370 million contracts signed as part of NASA’s Tipping Point selection to advance research and development for space exploration.
“The system could support communication on the lunar surface over longer distances, higher speeds and higher reliability than current standards,” NASA stated in its announcement of the award of the contract.
According to United Press International, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on a live broadcast that the space agency must quickly develop new technologies for living and working on the moon if it is to achieve its goal of having astronauts work on a lunar basis by 2028.
“We need power systems that can last long on the lunar surface, and we need housing on the surface,” said Bridenstine.
Nokia’s research arm Bell Labs provided more details on a Twitter thread. The company intends the network to support wireless lunar rover operation and navigation and video streaming.
“Working with our partners at @Int_Machines, this breakthrough network will be the critical communications fabric for data transmission applications, including lunar rover control, real-time navigation over the lunar geography and streaming of high-definition video,” 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 this in 2018 in collaboration with PTScientists, a German space company, and Vodafone UK to launch an LTE network at the site of the Apollo 17 landing, but the mission never launched.
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