NOKIA and Nasa have big plans for the Moon.
The US space agency and the mobile network provider want to team up to build a 4G network so astronauts can text on the lunar surface.
Nokia’s Bell Labs are now working on adapting the 4G tech we have on Earth to make it work in space.
It’s reportedly received $14.1million (£10.9million) to do this.
Nasa said: “Inspired by terrestrial technology, Nokia proposes to deploy 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.”
The aim is to have the network ready by 2022Credit: Alamy
Don’t expect to see men building 4G masts on the Moon though.
The aim is for the communication systems to be built on Earth and then transported up to the lunar surface by late 2022.
Compact ‘communications nodes’ will likely be built, similar to ones we have on Earth, and they’ll be able to provide enough signal for a few astronauts to connect with one another.
A 4G network should make life a lot easier for astronauts as they conduct work on the Moon.
It should be a lot faster and more reliable than any system used before.
Nokia said: “Nokia Bell Labs’ pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022.
“Nokia is partnering with Intuitive Machines for this mission to integrate this groundbreaking network into their lunar lander and deliver it to the lunar surface.
“The network will self-configure upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the Moon.
“The network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video.
“These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.”
The network will likely be updated to 5G in the future.
Nasa hopes to send the next man and the first woman to the Moon by 2024.
By 2030, it intends to have a long-term human presence there.
The Moon – our closest neighbour explained
Here’s what you need to know…
- The Moon is a natural satellite – a space-faring body that orbits a planet
- It’s Earth’s only natural satellite, and is the fifth biggest in the Solar System
- The Moon measures 2,158 miles across, roughly 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
- Temperatures on the Moon range from minus 173 degrees Celcius to 260 degrees Celcius
- Experts assumed the Moon was another planet, until Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his theory about our Solar System in 1543
- It was eventually assigned to a “class” after Galileo discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610
- The Moon is believed to have formed around 4.51billion years ago
- The strength of its gravitational field is about a sixth of Earth’s gravity
- Earth and the Moon have “synchronous rotation”, which means we always see the same side of the Moon – hence the phrase “dark side of the Moon”
- The Moon’s surface is actually dark, but appears bright in the sky due to its reflective ground
- During a solar eclipse, the Moon covers the Sun almost completely. Both objects appear a similar size in the sky because the Sun is both 400 times larger and farther
- The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was in 1959, as part of the Soviet Union’s Lunar program
- The first manned orbital mission was Nasa’s Apollo 8 in 1968
- And the first manned lunar landing was in 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission
In other space news, Nasa is set to sample asteroid Bennu today.
The Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak this week.
And, a Nasa rocket launched to the Moon in 1966 has hurtled back into view from Earth, according to scientists.
What are your thoughts on these Nokia plans? Let us know in the comments…
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