One giant leap for Nokia, as telecoms company lands lunar contract

The corporation's North America subsidiary will be building a 4G network for astronauts to use as they set up a permanent base on the moon.

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File picture of lunar surface, with planet Earth in the background / Credit: iStock

The US space agency NASA has announced $14.1 million funding (€12 million) for Nokia to build a 4G communication network on the moon.

It was part of a larger tech funding announcement made by NASA as it outlines its plans to develop sustainable lunar operations by the end of the decade. Each of the companies receiving money will contribute part of the costs itself, in addition to the NASA funding.

Nokia of America Corporation, based in California and owned by the Finnish parent company, landed the new deal.

“We are excited to see our investments and collaborative partnerships bring about new technologies for the Moon and beyond while also benefiting the commercial sector” says NASA’s Jim Reuter.

Nokia’s 4G technologies will play a part in NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to send the first woman to the moon, and the next man, in 2024 to establish a base. The lunar base will be used to prepare astronauts for a possible future expedition to Mars.

The Nokia contract is one small part of the overall funding which is also going to develop a ‘hopper’-style lunar lander, and new ways to possibly use frozen water from the moon’s poles to make fuel by separating the hydrogen and oxygen.