Internet on the Moon NASA and Nokia to bring the Moon online

Image: 2001, a Space Odyssey

Have you ever dreamt of exploring space? Perhaps, in our lifetime, we will be able to do some sightseeing on the Moon. If and when we get there, at least we’ll be able to stream our funny cat videos in HD. NASA and Nokia are working together to bring 4G connectivity to the lunar landscape.

The cellular network will be launched aboard a lunar lander and after touchdown on the Moon surface, should deploy and configure itself. As stated in Nokia’s press release: “The network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video. These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.”

For now the cellular network will be based on proven 4G technology, but a future upgrade to 5G speeds is being planned for. Deploying hardware on the Moon will bring some unique challenges, like dealing with the impact of cosmic radiation and the need for very low power consumption. On the upside, there will be no risk of obstacles or other sources of interference messing up our phone’s reception.

I for one am excited by the thought of the Internet reaching out into space. The Moon will be just the first step, as Elon Musk’s Starlink is already preparing to expand the network to Mars.


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