NASA announced it would be putting a 4G Network on the moon. The agency wants the project to be completed in 2028, as they want to create a lunar base and eventually sustain a human presence on the moon.

NASA announced a new project

To reach their goal, NASA awarded $370 million to dozens of companies to deploy the technology on the lunar surface.

The innovations will include cryogenic freezing, remote power generation, safer landing, robotics, and 4G. This will allow astronauts to make phone calls, remotely control robots, and to stream, according to CNET.

NASA stated that 4G could give more reliable and longer-distance communication than the current radio standards in place on the moon. Like the technology people are using today, the 4G network on the moon will eventually be upgraded to 5G, according to CBS.

Nokia's Bell Labs was given $14.1 million for the said project. AT&T previously operated Bell Labs. It has announced it will partner up with Intuitive Machines, a company that specializes in spaceflight engineering, to create the 4G-LTE network that will be set up on the moon.  

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The 4G signal will work better on the moon than it does on Earth as there are no trees, buildings, or other signals to interfere with the 4G signal.

The cellular network on the moon will be designed to withstand the environment of the lunar surface, like radiation, extreme temperatures, and space's vacuum, according to ZDNet.

The signal will also stay functional during launches and lunar landings, even though when rockets launches and lands, it vibrates the moon's surface.

Bell Labs stated that astronauts would use its wireless network to control lunar rovers, data transmission, streaming of high-definition video, and real-time navigation over lunar geography. It will act like Google Maps for the moon.

That means that those on Earth will get a better shot of astronauts traveling on the lunar surface. The 4G network used on Earth is supported by massive cell towers with massive power generators and radios.

However, Bell Labs helped create small cell technology that uses less power than the traditional cell tower, but it is more limited in range. The small cell technology is also easier to attack into a rocket ship to be launched to space. The small cell technology is used to deploy 5G networks around the world.  

Current projects

Aside from setting up a 4G network on the moon, the space agency is also working on other projects. One of them is the BioSentinel mission, which was selected as one of the payloads and the biological experiment to fly on NASA's Artemis I mission that is planned to launch in 2021.

The main objective of BioSentinel is to develop a biosensor to detect and measure the impact of space radiation on living organisms over long periods beyond LEO or Low Earth Orbit.

There is also the CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK or CLICK mission that will demonstrate the technology to improve the communications between small spacecraft. It also has the capability to go gauge the distance and location.

CLICK consists of two missions, CLICK A will test the elements of the optical communications with a single 3-unit spacecraft. This can help reduce to risk of testing, plus it helps demonstrate the high precision pointing performance of the control system that enables the use of power laser in CLICK B.

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