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Nokia picked by NASA to put a RAN on the moon

That’s one small step for RAN (radio access network), one giant leap for RANkind, as the US puts the pieces in places to establish a permanent presence on the moon.

It has been a long time since the space race generated much excitement, but the US space agency – NASA – has apparently been hatching a cunning plan to build a moon base. Given that the moon turned out to be pretty boring unless you’re really into rock, you have to wonder why they’re bothering, but the answer lies even further afield.

The ultimate object of NASA’s rejuvenated appetites is Mars, you see, and it wants to use the moon as some kind of cosmic aircraft carrier to launch missions from. Due to its much lower gravity, it should be possible to launch much larger spacecraft from a moon base, which is what will be needed to keep astronauts alive for the trip to Mars and back.

But it’s no good having a lunar space station if its inhabitants can’t use their phones when they get there, so NASA has asked Nokia to be part of the Artemis programme, as it’s called. Nokia will partner with Intuitive Machines to deliver a low-power, space-hardened, self-configuring LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022.

“Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface,” said Marcus Weldon, Nokia CTO and Bell Labs President. “By building the first high performance wireless network solution on the Moon, Nokia Bell Labs is once again planting the flag for pioneering innovation beyond the conventional limits.”

NASA seems a bit more reliant private sector partnerships these days, so maybe there will be roles for other telecoms players, although we can presumably rule out those from one country at least. Check out the videos below – it does all look very cool and exciting – but they must be hoping Mars turns out to be less of an anti-climax than the moon did.

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5 comments

  1. Avatar nick 19/10/2020 @ 4:33 pm

    WHAT THE HECK IS A ” RAN ” ?

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 19/10/2020 @ 4:36 pm

      My bad – updated.

    • Avatar Jax 20/10/2020 @ 2:25 am

      Says Radio Access Network..

  2. Avatar Clint 19/10/2020 @ 10:53 pm

    Oh no huawei tantrum again

  3. Avatar xyz 20/10/2020 @ 7:46 am

    this is sick.. they are involving us in big project that nobody sees except them, loosing money on invisible infrastructures and more, problem is down on earth astronuts from all of you and your lies… we dont want nasa suport in anything, corporations are corrupted

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