Unit services may disappear soon.
The space agency announced that NASA has awarded Nokia a $14.1 million contract to bring astronauts to the moon’s first cellular network.
According to Bell Labs, its innovation department, the cellular phone company will launch a 4G/LTE network and then eventually upgrade the system to the latest 5G technology.
The company said that the cellular data function on the moon will help to better control the lunar rover, conduct real-time navigation on the lunar geography and stream high-definition video.
Bell Labs said: “This mission will verify the future of other operational deployments and the potential for human habitation on the moon.”
But elevating cellular services to new heights is not an easy task.
The company said: “The mission-critical LTE network we have developed is specifically designed to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space, as well as the huge shocks generated during launch and landing on the lunar surface.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s grant is part of a $370 million contract signed under the agency’s “Tipping Point” program, which aims to support research on a range of technologies aimed at improving space exploration.
“We are very pleased to see that our investments and partnerships have brought new technologies to the moon and beyond, while also benefiting the commercial sector,” said Jim Reuter, NASA’s deputy director of aerospace technology.