Nokia will send 4G internet to the Moon by the end of 2023

The network will be used within Nasa's Artemis 1 mission, which will send the first human astronauts to the moon's surface since the Apollo 17 mission.
Deena Theresa
Representational image.
Representational image.


Nokia has announced the launch of a 4G mobile network on the Moon by the end of this year after it was selected by NASA to build the first-ever cellular network on the Moon in 2019.

The network will be stored in a Nova-C lunar lander designed by Intuitive Machines and will launch via a SpaceX rocket. A solar-powered rover will accompany the lander, and an LTE connection will be established between the two, CNBC reported.

Nokia's 4G communications system will land on the Shackleton crater, along the southern limb of the Moon. Nokia has assured us that the technology can withstand the harsh conditions of space.

The plan is to use the network within Nasa's Artemis 1 mission, which will send the first human astronauts to the Moon's surface since the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.

Nokia aims to find ice on the Moon

Anshel Sag, the principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told CNBC that 2023 was an "optimistic target" for the launch of Nokia's equipment.

"If the hardware is ready and validated as it seems to be, there is a good chance they could launch in 2023 as long as their launch partner of choice doesn't have any setbacks or delays," Sag told CNBC via email.

In a blog post, Nokia had that their lunar 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."

Nokia also elaborated on its aim. "It became evident to us that, for any sustained human presence on the Moon and Mars in the future, connectivity and communications are critical. Astronauts will need the same advanced capabilities that we have on Earth in space to support their activities and run their applications, whether that is enabling voice and video communications capabilities, telemetry and biometric data exchange, sensing applications, or controlling robotics," the company said.

CNBC reported on Nokia's intention to find ice on the Moon with its lunar network. The water could be used for drinking, as rocket fuel, or even as oxygen for astronauts.

"I could see this being used by future expeditions to continue to explore the Moon since this really seems like a major test of the capabilities before starting to use it commercially for additional exploration and potential future mining operations. Mining requires a lot of infrastructure to be in place and having the right data about where certain resources are located," added Sag.

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