Nokia is planning to install an internet connection on the moon, in anticipation of humans landing there in the near future.
- Nokia is planning to launch 4G internet on the moon later this year, an executive for the company tells CNBC.
- The connectivity will be used within NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, which ultimately hopes to establish a human presence on the moon.
- The successful launch will demonstrate that terrestrial networks can meet the communications needs of future space missions.
why it’s important
Space travel has ramped up over the past few years, as private companies are sending rockets, satellites, and more into space. Many of those missions have the goal of putting humans onto the moon for short- and long-term exploration.
As part of that efforts, Nokia is preparing to launch a 4G mobile network on the moon later this year, in the hopes of enhancing lunar discoveries—and eventually paving the path for human presence on the satellite planet.
The Finnish telecommunications group plans to launch the network on a SpaceX rocket over the coming months, Nokia engineer Luis Maestro Ruiz De Temino told reporters earlier this month at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.
The network will be powered by an antenna-equipped base station designed by U.S. space firm Intuitive Machines. It will be attached to a solar-powered rover. There will be an LTE connection between the lander and the rover.
The network will be used within NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, which aims to send the first human astronauts to walk on the moon’s surface since 1972.
“The aim is to show that terrestrial networks can meet the communications needs for future space missions,” a Nokia representative tells CNBC—“adding that its network will allow astronauts to communicate with each other and with mission control, as well as to control the rover remotely and stream real-time video and telemetry data back to Earth.”