Nokia and NASA to set up first wireless network on the moon

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has collaborated with Nokia to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon. In a series of tweets, Nokia Bell Labs said it will first deploy 4G network, before moving on to 5G. The network will be the critical communications fabric for data transmission applications, including the control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography, and streaming of high definition video, according to Nokia. 

It is added that the network 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. NASA will be allocating US$14.1 million to its collaboration with Nokia.

Nokia is one of the 14 companies appointed by NASA to develop a range of technologies that will help forge a path to sustainable "Artemis" operations on the Moon by the end of the decade. With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than before. The other companies selected include SpaceX, Intuitive Machines, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and the United Launch Alliance.

“This is the most proposals NASA has selected at once and by far the largest collective award value,” said NASA’s associate administrator for space technology, Jim Reuter. “We are excited to see our investments and collaborative partnerships bring about new technologies for the Moon and beyond while also benefiting the commercial sector.”

Last month, beauty brand Estée Lauder also collaborated with NASA to launch its product, the Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Multi-Recovery Complex serum, into space. According to a press release, it is the first beauty brand to participate in NASA’s efforts to enable business opportunities on the International Space Station. Once arrived, the product will be photographed in the space station’s cupola window to create images for use on Estée Lauder’s social media platforms. The collaboration comes as NASA looks to open the International Space Station to businesses as part of the agency's efforts to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy, according to Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA headquarters.

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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