Nokia Oyj has been chosen by NASA to build the first ever cellular network on the moon.
The Finnish telecommunications firm said on Monday that the partnership will create a path toward “sustainable human presence on the lunar surface,” and will result in the first LTE/4G communications system in space.
Nokia’s Bell Labs unit is planning to build what it describes as an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution” that will be available on the moon by late 2022.
The idea is to provide the kind of technology that makes it possible to remotely control lunar rovers, or allow real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video, Nokia said.
“The solution has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing, and to operate in the extreme conditions of space,” it said.
The company said the technology it’s using — the precursor to 5G — is “ideally suited” for providing the kind of wireless connection “that astronauts need.”
Nokia is working with Intuitive Machines to integrate the network into a lunar lander and deliver it to the surface of the moon, where it will self-configure, it said.