NASA is looking for a way to improve communication between astronauts once they return to the moon in 2024. This is why the company has turned to the Mobile pioneer Nokia to bring 4G to the moon. NASA has said that it will provide Nokia with $14 million funding to set up cellular towers for 4G LTE.
The department’s Associate Administrator James Reuter has said that enabling 4G on the moon will allow for easy communication between lunar habitats, astronauts, and spacecraft. He said:
With NASA funding, Nokia will look at how terrestrial technology could be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications.
This deal is a part of NASA’s new Artemis project where it plans to provide a total of $370 million funding to different companies. Most of this money has gone to companies like SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.
This is not the first time Nokia has attempted to bring 4G to the moon. The Finnish phone maker partnered with German space firm PTScientists and UK carrier Vodafone back in 2018 as part of a mission to return to the site of the Apollo 17 landing.
Nokia and Vodafone were supposed to work together to set up 4G on the moon so it would allow them to sent high definition videos of the moon to Earth. Unfortunately, that mission never kicked off.