Nokia to put 4G internet on the moon by the end of this year

Nokia to put 4G internet on the moon by the end of this year
Someday, if man needs to inhabit the moon for one reason or another, a smartphone could still be an important piece of tech gear to bring. According to CNBC, later this year Nokia hopes to launch a 4G network on the moon partially to help space agencies make new discoveries, but also to set the stage for humans to have a presence on the planet. The network will be literally launched into space inside a SpaceX rocket over the next few months.

Nokia's principal engineer, Luis Maestro Ruiz De Temino, previewed the mission last month during MWC in Barcelona. The network will feature a base station equipped with antennas and stored in a Nova-C lunar lander; the latter is designed by Intuitive Machines, a publicly traded company (stock symbol: LUNR) that describes itself as an "end-to-end space exploration company delivering lunar access, lunar data services, extreme lunar mobility, and more."

An LTE connection will be created between the lander and a solar-powered rover. The SpaceX rocket will give way to the lunar lander which will have a propulsion system to help it reach the surface of the moon. Nokia says that the network has been built to hold up to the extreme conditions found in space. The technology will land on the Shackleton crater near the south pole of the moon. Getting the network to the moon will be part of NASA's Artemis 1 mission which envisions the first walk on the moon by U.S. astronauts since 1972.

Nokia says that the goal of launching a 4G network on the moon is to show that terrestrial networks can be used to handle the communications demands for future space missions. The network will allow astronauts to communicate with each other and with mission control. It will also be used to control the lunar rover remotely and stream real-time video and data back to earth.

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The Finnish networking firm previously said that the lunar network would "provide critical communication capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video."

The principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, Anshel Sag, said that 2023 would be an optimistic target for when the mission might launch. Sending an email to CNBC, Sag wrote, "If the hardware is ready and validated as it seems to be, there is a good chance they could launch in 2023 as long as their launch partner of choice doesn’t have any setbacks or delays."

SpaceX is short for the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. which was founded by Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk.

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