Have you ever thought that one could surf on social media on Moon? No, right? But, what if we tell you that this could actually be true as National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) has awarded Nokia of the US $14.1 million to deploy a 4G cellular network on the moon.
This massive grant is actually a part of $370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA’s “Tipping Point” selections, meant to advance research and development for space exploration
NASA in its contract award announcement said: “The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds and provide more reliability than current standards.”
The United Press Internation reported that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a live broadcast said that the US-based space organization must quickly develop new technologies for living and working on the moon if it wants to realise its goal 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.
Taking to Twitter, Nokia’s research arm, Bell Labs in a thread said that the company has been working on to provide cellular service on Earth’s natural satellite to support the wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation, as well as streaming video.
In a tweet, Bell labs said, “Working with our partners at @Int_Machines, this groundbreaking 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.
However, Nokia is not the first company who is trying to launch the cellular network on the Moon as in 2018, Vodafone UK in collaboration with PTScientists, a German space company tried to provide LTE network at the site of the Apollo 17 landing, but the mission never got off the ground.