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NASA has awarded Nokia a contract to put a 4G network on the moon so we can easily text our alien friends.
OK, it’s not really so we can text aliens – it’s more for scientific purposes, but can you imagine casually being able to FaceTime one?
Nokia won the whopping $14.1 million contract as part of NASA’s ‘Tipping Point’ programme, which involves allocating $370 million to companies in the hopes of advancing research and development for space exploration.
Nokia’s research arm Bell Labs broke the news on Twitter on Thursday, October 15, in a thread of tweets.
Some of the tweets read:
To the moon! […] We are excited to have been named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. So, what technology can you expect to see?
Our pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon, starting with #4G/LTE technologies and evolving to #5G.
The company further explained how it will work with its partners at Intuitive Machines, and said that the ‘ground-breaking network’ it is creating will be the ‘critical communications fabric for data transmission applications, including the control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography, & streaming of high definition video’.
It further went on to explain how its network will be developed to ‘withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space’.
On Wednesday, October 14, NASA also announced the other companies that will receive contracts as part of its Tipping Point programme.
Part of the announcement read:
The following selections, organized by topic area, are based on NASA’s fifth competitive Tipping Point solicitation and have an expected combined award value of more than $370 million.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) will negotiate with the companies to issue milestone-based firm-fixed price contracts lasting for up to five years.
Along with Nokia, other companies that have been awarded contracts include: Eta Space; Lockheed Martin; United Launch Alliance (ULA); Masten Space Systems; and Teledyne Energy Systems.
The likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been granted a $53.2 million contract.
Imagine having that type of money to dish out…
You can find out the full list of contracts here.
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