If you don’t get a cell phone signal when walking your dog around the block, your blood will really boil.
NASA is bringing a 4G network to the moon.
To meet the 2028 goal of establishing a lunar base and ultimately maintaining a human presence on the moon, NASA awarded over a dozen companies $ 370 million (A $ 521 million) to deploy technology on the lunar surface.
These innovations include remote power generation, cryogenic freezing, robotics, safer landing – and 4G.
Because how else do astronauts tweet their moon golf shots and moon rover selfies?
According to NASA, 4G could provide more reliable communication over longer distances than the radio standards currently in force on the moon.
As on Earth, the 4G network will eventually be upgraded to 5G.
Nokia’s Bell Labs was awarded $ 14.1 million (A $ 19.8 million) for the project.
Bell Labs, formerly operated by AT&T, will partner with space company Intuitive Machines to expand the 4G LTE network.
4G will likely work better on the moon than it does here – there are no trees, buildings, or television signals to interfere with the signal.
The moon’s cellular network is also specifically designed to withstand the specifics of the moon’s surface: extreme temperature, radiation, and space vacuum.
It remains functional even during moon landings and takeoffs, despite rockets vibrating the lunar surface significantly.
Bell Labs said astronauts would use their wireless network for data transfer, control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation of lunar geography – think Google Maps for the moon – and streaming high-definition video.
That could give us on Earth a much better picture of astronauts jumping around on the lunar surface – Buzz Aldrin was a great cameraman, but he didn’t have an iPhone.
The 4G network on earth is supported by huge cell towers with enormous power generators and radios.
However, Bell Labs helped develop technology for small cells that are limited in range, but that use far less power than traditional cell towers and that are much easier to pack into a missile ship.
This small cell technology is currently being used for 5G networks around the world.
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