The US subsidiary of network equipment supplier Nokia has received $ 14.1 million in funding to build an LTE network that will operate on the moon. The grant is part of a $ 370 million pool that NASA has distributed to companies developing and improving techniques for the Artemis lunar program. It is planned that an astronautical moon landing will take place by 2024.
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Network on the lunar surface
Nokia’s LTE network is supposed to help simplify communication on the lunar surface. It should make communication between bases, vehicles and people on the earth satellite easier, faster and more reliable than previous technologies. “The system could also be expanded to include communication with spaceships,” said NASA employee Jim Reuter.
The project is not Nokia’s first venture into space. Already in 2018 they wanted to carry out a moon mission in cooperation with Vodafone and PTScientists (now PTS). The aim of the mission was to visit the Apollo 17 moonbuggy with a rover. However, due to financial difficulties, the project failed. PTS had already announced a year ago that it wanted to bring an LTE network to the moon.
Companies like SpaceX or Lockheed Martin were also given grants. SpaceX wants to get 10 tons of liquid oxygen into space. Lockheed Martin is engaged in space missions that use liquid hydrogen as fuel. Inductive charging, which is popular with cell phones, is also being researched: The Astrobic Technology company receives funding to develop a wireless charging system for automated landers.
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