Remember back in 2020 when NASA tapped Nokia to build a 4G network on the moon? It may finally be happening later this year.

In an effort to improve discoveries and support human presence in the future, Nokia will set up an antenna-powered network at the Shackleton crater of the moon. Designed to withstand the extremely harsh conditions of space, the network consists of two key components—a base station and a solar-powered rover—that are linked via an LTE connection.

Once the network is operational, it will be utilized for important data transmission applications. These include NASA’s Artemis missions, a series of missions that ultimately aim to reestablish human presence on Earth’s natural satellite. No human astronauts have walked on the lunar surface since 1972.

In addition, Nokia plans to use the lunar network for locating ice. Previous studies have confirmed the presence of frozen water on the moon, and it could be extracted and treated to become a potential source of drinking water and oxygen for astronauts. The success of Nokia’s network could also lead to further explorations and mining operations, according to analysts. The moon might even become a data center.

Assuming no setbacks will happen to postpone the launch, Nokia may be able to accomplish its optimistic target launch within the year. The equipment will be contained in Nova-C, a lunar lander designed by US-based aerospace company Intuitive Machines. A SpaceX rocket will launch the lander into space, and the lander’s built-in propulsion system will be used to finish the trip to the moon.

Source: CNBC

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