NASA and Nokia have joined forces to provide the moon with a mobile communications network. The network is supposed to prepare the moon for the swift return of humans.
The companies intend to have the network running by the end of 2022, before people once again land on its surface. Intuitive Machines, a Texan spacecraft design company, is responsible for transporting the network equipment to the moon.
Communications on the moon
NASA plans to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024. Under the Artemis program, the organisation intends to build a long-term human presence on the moon.
Once there, the astronauts can use the mobile network to communicate via voice or video connections. The network may also be used for the exchange of telemetry or biometric data. Remote control of robots is also within the realm of possibilities.
The equipment will be designed to withstand the extreme conditions of being launched into space and landing on the moon. Nokia also has to take into consideration the size and weight restrictions associated with space travel.
Because 4G technology has been reliably used on earth for many years, its use is preferred over the newer, but less proven 5G. Nokia does intend to upgrade to the newer technology in the long run.