NASA’s Artemis missions aren’t expected to put human boots back on the Moon until 2025 at the earliest, but Nokia is already gearing up to put 4G internet on the Moon. In 2020, Nokia announced that it had been selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the Moon. Almost three years later, Nokia is finally looking to finish the job.
According to news reports from CNBC, Nokia aims to have 4G internet up and running on the Moon by the end of this year. The Finland-based company will rely on SpaceX rockets to deliver the needed hardware to the Moon. The network will work from a base attached to a Nova-C lunar lander. A solar-powered rover developed by Lunar Outpost will also be delivered as part of the mission.
The rover and the lander are designed to communicate with each other using LTE internet connectivity while on the Moon. The network base will land on the Shackleton Connecting Ridge, near the Shackleton Crater, an area of the Moon located near the Moon’s southern pole. This area of the lunar satellite will act as the landing area for future Artemis missions, so it makes sense to set up the network base nearby.
We’ve previously seen companies like Aquarian Space promise to set up Wi-Fi on the Moon in the next couple of years, so it isn’t surprising to see Nokia pushing for this year, too.
NASA wants to base much of its future space exploration on the Moon, making it easier to launch rockets and other long-distance spacecraft into space. If Nokia can set up a reliable internet connection on the Moon, it will help alleviate some of the communication concerns that currently plague the future of any Moon base.
Additionally, with scientists searching for water on the Moon, and some even claiming that tiny Moon beads could hold trillions of gallons of water, the possibility of a Moon base actually happening appears to be going up quite a bit. Of course, we must still get the Artemis III mission to the lunar surface and put human boots back on the Moon first.