The moon is set to get a 4G cellular communication network as Nasa approves to fund Nokia's $14.1 million project as part of new contracts for lunar surface research missions.
Nasa made the announcement as part of their $370 million in new contracts, reported UPI. "The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds and provide more reliability than current standards," Nasa stated in its contract award announcement.
Jim Bridenstine, Nasa administrator, added the space agency aims to have astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028. "We need power systems that can last a long time on the surface of the moon, and we need habitation capability on the surface," Bridenstine said.
Cellular service on the moon could support communication between lunar landers, rovers, habitats and astronauts, said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate.
"The system would also extend to spacecraft. With NASA funding, Nokia will look at how terrestrial technology could be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications," Reuter said.
While Nasa has not decided on a landing site for the crew of the agency's Artemis missions aimed for 2024, Bridenstine emphasized that the target is a site near water-ice deposits on the lunar South Pole.
"We want to build the [lunar] infrastructure...that is going to enable an international partnership for the biggest, broadest, most diverse inclusive coalition of researchers and explorers in the history of humankind," Bridenstine added.
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