Finnish company Nokia was selected by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon, as the U.S. space agency plans for a future where humans return to establish lunar settlements.
NASA aims to return humans to the moon by 2024 under its Artemis program.
Nokia said the first wireless broadband communications system in space would be built on the lunar surface in late 2022, before humans make it back.
It will partner with a Texas-based private space craft design company, Intuitive Machines, to deliver the equipment to the moon on their lunar lander. The network will configure itself and establish a 4G/LTE communications system on the moon, Nokia said, though the aim is to eventually switch to 5G.
The network will give astronauts voice and video communications capabilities, and allow telemetry and biometric data exchange, as well as the deployment and remote control of lunar rovers and other robotic devices.