September 30, 2023

Nokia is preparing to launch a 4G mobile network on the Moon later this year in hopes of boosting lunar exploration – and eventually the satellite will pave the way for a human presence on the planet.

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The Finnish telecommunications conglomerate plans to launch the network on a SpaceX rocket in the coming months, Nokia chief engineer Luis Maestro Ruiz de Tamino told reporters at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona earlier this month.

The network will be operated by an antenna-equipped base station stored aboard the Nova-C lunar lander designed by US space firm Intuitive Machine, as well as by a solar-powered rover.

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LTE connection will be established between the lander and the rover.

The infrastructure will land on Shackleton Crater, which is located along the southern side of the Moon.

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Nokia says that the technology is designed to withstand the extreme conditions of space.

The network will be used within NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, which aims to send the first human astronauts to walk on the surface of the Moon since 1972.

Its purpose is to show that terrestrial networks can meet the communications needs for future space missions, Nokia said, adding that its network will allow astronauts to communicate with each other and mission control as well as remotely control the rover. Will allow to do and stream real. Time video and telemetry data back to Earth.

According to Maestro Ruiz De Temino, the lander will launch via a SpaceX rocket. He explained that the rocket will not propel the lander to the surface of the Moon – it has the propulsion system to complete the journey.

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Anshel Saag, principal analyst at Moore Insights & Strategy, said 2023 was an “optimistic target” for the launch of Nokia’s devices.

Saag told CNBC via email, “If the hardware is ready and validated as it appears, there’s a good chance they can launch in 2023, unless their launch partner of choice suffers a setback.” Or don’t be late.”

Nokia before this Said that its lunar network “will provide critical communications capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including critical command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation, and high definition video streaming.”

moon ice

One of the things Nokia is hoping to achieve with its lunar network is the detection of ice on the Moon. Most of the Moon’s surface is now dry, but recent unmanned missions to the Moon have discovered remnants of ice trapped in sheltered craters around the poles.

Such water can be treated and used for drinking, broken down into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket fuel, or separated to provide breathing oxygen to astronauts. can be done.

“I see it being used by future missions to continue to explore the Moon as it builds capabilities before starting to use it commercially for additional exploration and possible future mining operations,” Saig told CNBC. Looks like a major test.”

“Mining requires a lot of infrastructure and there has to be accurate data about where certain resources are located.

If we ever want to live on the moon, we’ll need a lot more than just internet connectivity. Engineering giant Rolls-Royce, for example, is working on a nuclear reactor to power future lunar settlers and explorers.

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