To meet its 2028 goal of building a moon base and ultimately sustain a human presence on the moon, NASA has awarded $ 370 million to more than a dozen companies to deploy the technology on the lunar surface. These innovations include remote power generation, cryogenic freezing, robotics, safer landing … and 4G. Because how else will astronauts tweet their golf shots on the moon and lunar rover selfies?
NASA says 4G could provide more reliable, long-distance communications than current radio standards on the moon. As on Earth, the 4G network will finally be upgraded to 5G.
By Nokia (NOK)
Bell Labs received $ 14.1 million for the project. Bell Labs
, previously operated by AT&T, will partner with space engineering firm Intuitive Machines to build the 4G-LTE network.
John Oliver jokes about CNN’s parent company AT&T (T.) aside, 4G will likely perform better on the moon than it does here – it won’t have trees, buildings, or TV signals that interfere with the 4G signal. The moon’s cellular network will also be specially designed to withstand the peculiarities of the lunar surface: extreme temperatures, radiation and space vacuum. It will remain functional even during lunar landings and launches, although the rockets vibrate significantly on the lunar surface.
Bell Labs said astronauts will use its wireless network for data transmission, control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation on lunar geography (think Google Maps for the moon), and streaming high-definition video. . This could give us a much better shot of astronauts bouncing off the lunar surface stuck on Earth: Buzz Aldrin was a great cameraman, but he didn’t have an iPhone.
The 4G network on Earth is supported by gigantic cell towers with huge power and radio generators. But Bell Labs helped create small cell technology that has a more limited range but uses far less energy than traditional cell towers and is significantly easier to pack into a spaceship. That small cell technology is currently being implemented for 5G networks around the world.