NASA Entrusts Nokia To Install The First Wireless Network On The Moon
By Mikelle Leow, 19 Oct 2020
Image via Shutterstock
Earlier this month, NASA backed the construction of robust new buildings on the moon. Now, aside from dreaming of sitting by the windowsill and munching on the fabled moon cheese, what’s there to do to make it more inhabitable for humans? That’s right—deploy a lunar cellular network.
The space agency has just awarded Nokia a US$14.1 million contract to install “the first LTE/4G communications system in space,” which it says will boost lunar-surface communications “at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards.” In time, this network will advance to 5G.
The project is part of NASA’s US$370 million ‘Tipping Point’ campaign to improve research and development for space exploration, according to Mashable.
As well as confirming the deal on Twitter, Nokia’s research lab Bell Labs has detailed that the wireless network, deemed “the first” on the moon, will hopefully set forth a sustainable path for living on the celestial body.
The “mission-critical” cellular network is compact and specially developed to overcome space’s extreme environmental pressures, such as its temperatures, radiation, and vacuum conditions.
More importantly, the system will serve as “the critical communications fabric” for data transmission in space, including real-time navigation of lunar geography, streaming high-definition footage, and the maneuvering of lunar rovers.
Hopefully the network will be as sturdy as those 3310 bricks, as it will be central in exploring future lunar deployments and the possibility of human inhabitation.
The mission critical LTE network we have developed has been specially designed to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space, as well as the sizable vibrational impact during launch and landing on the lunar surface. (4/6)— Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
This mission will validate the future of other operational deployments and the potential for human habitation on the moon. (6/6)— Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
Learn more about the “Tipping Point” project here: https://t.co/M372GpU09q
[via Mashable, cover image via Shutterstock]
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