Finnish telecom major Nokia NOK plans to send 4G network equipment to the moon, riding on a rocket made by Elon Musk‘s SpaceX. If all goes well, high-speed internet could be a reality on Earth’s only natural satellite this year.
What Happened: Nokia's principal engineer, Luis Maestro Ruiz De Temino, told reporters about the development earlier this month at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, CNBC reported on Tuesday.
The network will reportedly be launched on a SpaceX rocket, powered by an antenna-equipped base station stored in a Nova-C lunar lander designed by U.S. space firm Intuitive Machines, and an accompanying solar-powered rover.
An LTE connection will be established between the lander and the rover, which will land on the Shackleton crater, according to CNBC.
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Why It Matters: Nokia reportedly said the technology is designed to withstand the extreme conditions of space and will be used in Nasa's Artemis 1 mission. The network will allow astronauts to communicate with each other and mission control, control the rover remotely and stream real-time video and telemetry data back to Earth.
It aims to find ice remnants on the moon’s surface, which can be used as a source of water, rocket fuel, and breathable oxygen for astronauts.
Before Nokia, It Was Motorola: Back in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and his crew landed on the moon on the Apollo 15 capsule, U.S. telecom major Motorola played a pivotal role in transmissions.
Armstrong’s famous words — "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" — were delivered via a Motorola Solutions S-Band transponder, which also transmitted telemetry, voice communications, biomedical data and television signals between the Earth and the moon.
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