Soon, the moon will join the technology stream as NASA has awarded Nokia of America with the $14.1 million contract to deploy a 4G cellular network on the moon.
Yes, that is correct, the moon. The contract is part of the $370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA's "Tipping Point" selections. The contracts are meant to advance research and development for space exploration.
Nokia's plan for the new evolution on the moon is to build a 4G/LTE network. As the years pass Nokia will eventually transition the 4G network to 5G.
According to NASA, this project will be "the first LTE/4G communications system in space".
"The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards," NASA stated.
Nokia tweeted the exciting news, where they also provided a glimpse of the details to follow. The company’s goal for the network is to be able to support wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation including the streaming of videos.
Nokia stated that the network is built to be compact and efficient. They also added that the network is "specially designed to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space."
NASA stated in a live announcement that the network would extend to spacecraft. They also added that it will help develop technology fit for the moon.
There is no timeline of the project made public as yet, however NASA's goal is having a lunar base on the moon by 2028.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine humorously added; "After all, how else would the astronauts be able to Instagram their moon walks?!"