NASA partners with Nokia to set up a 4G connectivity on the Moon which will make video streaming possible on lunar surface.
Words: Amisha Shirgave
Imagine an astronaut clicking selfies on the moon and posting them the very next moment or another astronaut streaming live from the moon. This scenario may soon come to reality. As a solution to internet connectivity issues in space, NASA and Nokia have come together under the project ‘Tipping Point’ to set up the 4G network on lunar surface. Nokia's research wing said that the "innovations will be used to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon, starting with 4G/LTE technologies and evolving to 5G". It has been granted $14.1 million for the project "to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon, starting with 4G/LTE technologies and evolving to 5G".
According to NASA, the idea to install 4G/5G network on the Moon is 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," NASA says. In the series of tweets that Nokia’s Bell Lab posted, they shared their partnership news and the details of what exactly Nokia will be providing. Calling it a "ground-breaking network", Bell Labs said it 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."
This LTE network has been specially designed to "withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space". Moreover, it will also withstand the sizable vibrational impact during launch and landing on the lunar surface.
Bell Labs said, "This mission will validate the future of other operational deployments and the potential for human habitation on the moon." We surely hope to see this grand project succeed.