Nokia was just awarded a 14.1 million dollar contract from NASA to establish a 4G network on the moon. This purpose of this is to help astronauts with lunar surface communications.
The Finish company’s plan is to build a 4G/LTE network, which at some point would be upgraded to 5G. According to NASA, it will be “the first LTE/4G communications system in space… [and] the system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards.”
Why Is 4G On The Moon Good?
NASA says they will be able to operate lunar rovers more effectively as well as their navigation. In addition, they will be able to stream video’s on the moon! How cool would it be to go on Instagram and be able to watch a live stream of what’s happening on the moon with NASA? Wake up with your morning coffee, open up your phone and watch astronauts doing bottle flip challenges in space!
With Nokia’s eventual creation, it will open up a whole new chapter of space technology. The goal is to design a 4G network that is not only operable and efficient in the depths of space, but to make it durable enough too. Nokia has to be able to make a product that can withstand the vacuum of space, endure the crushing cold temperatures, and is able to survive certain amounts of radiation. Even though Nokia has some pretty awesome plans with NASA, the fun doesn’t stop there for the future of the moon.
To the moon! 🌕— Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
We are excited to have been named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6) pic.twitter.com/wDNwloyHdP
NASA’s Tipping Point Program
Nokia wasn’t the only organization to receive a large sum of money from NASA for their interest in space. In fact, Nokia was apart of a long list of other organizations awarded contracts. This long list is known as NASA’s Tipping Point Selections. The organizations chosen by NASA are considered to be the fifth competitive Tipping Point solicitation. The companies will receive an expected combined value of $370 million. Of course, through NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), they will have to negotiate with the companies in order for them to issue milestone-based firm-fixed price contracts that will last for up to five years. (2)
Having a sustainable 4G network on the moon is awesome. However, NASA is going to need a lot of help in multiple different ways. Every single company chosen by NASA has a part to play in the ability to adventure out into space. This isn’t just a mission to make the moon more workable for astronauts. In fact, these organizations are going to be creating the future of space exploration entirely.