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NASA is putting cellphone service on the moon

NASA and Nokia are teaming up for 4G LTE on the moon.

In this July 26, 2018 file photo, a woman walks at the headquarters of Finnish telecommunication network company Nokia in Espoo, Finland.
In this July 26, 2018, file photo, a woman walks at the headquarters of Finnish telecommunication network company Nokia in Espoo, Finland.
Associated Press

NASA and Nokia are teaming up to put cellphone service on the moon.

  • Specifically, NASA will install a 4G network.
  • “The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards,” NASA said.

Why now:

The decision to add 4G to the moon comes after NASA awarded $370 million to more than a dozen companies to add technology on the moon’s surface, CNN reports.

  • The added features include robotics, safer landing platforms, ways to ignite power and, yes, cellphone service.

Why it matters:

Nokia’s Bell Labs will work on the project (the company received $14.1 million to do so).

  • Bell Labs said astronauts can use the 4G network to send data back to Earth, control land rovers and stream high-definition video, so there is a purpose to all of this, according to CNN.

Extra details:

The 4G network will reportedly be upgraded to 5G in the near future, CNN reports.

Engineers on the original Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972 used “radio communication through a network of transmitters, base stations, and relays,” according to reports.