American space agency nasa has now confirmed that nokia has been selected by nasa to build the first ever cellular network on the moon to revolutionize our lunar surface communications by making sure that they are delivering reliable high data rates, while also containing power size and also cost. Now the finnish telecoms companies will receive 14.1 million in funding from the u.s space agency to build a 4g cell phone network on the moon. Also, this announcement comes as part of a 370 million slew of contract issued by nasa, and the 4g network would be used by astronaut on vehicles also as a foothold for any possible future permanent moon base, something that nasa has been planning for a long time now. To explain to us more about this particular mode of communication and also what exactly are nasa’s plan. I have with me our expert for the day senior professor jan moti, from the indian institute of astrophysics. First of all, professor modi thanks a lot for joining us on this live interaction. Now this particular communication network will be extremely crucial. You know for nasa’s artemis programs, which you know which will establish a sustainable presence on the moon by the end of the decade. So what do you think uh how imp, how important this is and how crucial could this be to future missions on the moon? Well, you know the important thing here is that uh they they’re they want to have a permanent, manned or actually crude presence on the moon, so they won’t have people on the moon at all times, and then with that comes all that infrastructure.

You want to send vehicles out, you have to communicate with the vehicles, so you need to develop a communication system yeah so rather than start from scratch, and do something completely new. We have a good example here on the earth with the 4g network yeah and i saw that later on. They want to go to 5g. So this is high speed transmission. You remember how much better 3g was than 2g and now 4g than 3g. So this is a good, reliable transmission method and 14 million dollars is really nothing. So if they can get that working great, you have a good system, a reliable system, and so, if you can get it working on the moon to communicate with your rovers and across the base that’s great exactly also now, professor uh, the original 1969 72 apollo missions. Now engineers were fully reliant on radio communication through a network of transmitters base stations and relays back on earth. Now using you know, this was done using nasa’s s, band of 2.4 gigahertz as well. But what exactly is the need for this particular communication system? Is the one that was used before lagging by any sort, or you know, is there some sort of a new uh new mechanism that would be under picture, given the fact that there are a lot of more complicated experiments that could possibly be carried out? So what exactly is the need for this particular 4g communication, or is it something that they’re just showcasing as something that is a part of their capability and ammo as well? I think it’s a it’s, a combination of things.

Of course, it sounds good good public relations to say, we’re, developing 4g on the moon, so uh yeah it’s, one of the many things that they try out. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work yeah, but if it works, it’s, it’s good and meanwhile it catches attention. So it’s a good way to build it to build interest in the space program, but the the the point that you said with uh with orbiters and so on. I expect that uh that this will be more a more reliable, long term solution, because once you build up that infrastructure for the 4g network, it will be there. You don’t have to launch a new orbiter every every few years to to keep your uh communications contact. So i think it’ll just be a more reliable, long term solution, a more economical solution, long term, okay, now just you know just imagining that this could possibly be a solution. What are the sort of challenges that you know? Uh, the nasa and also other stakeholders will face making sure that all the infrastructure is shifted over to the lunar surface, because of course, this is not something that would be done using just a couple of transmitters. It would require a whole lot of infrastructure that needs to be transported from earth to moon. So what are the complications that could possibly arise in that situation? You know, i think that it’s a lot easier than one might think. We know how to do 4g on the earth.

Yeah it’s, very reliable. You can set it up anywhere, except in my house, but but 4g works and you know sending it on onto the moon. All you do is you have you might use spacecraft components, so it’ll be more expensive. There might be a little challenge in in redesign make sure that everything takes the shock of going to the moon. You know when you launch loads and all that make sure that you’re you’re suitable you. You can work in a vacuum, but the minor challenges on the on the larger scale, they’re minor, challenges that that people know how to do and that’s what you see. It only costs 14 million dollars, that’s very cheap when you do when you’re talking about anything to do with space. Absolutely all right, professor thanks a lot uh for joining us on this live interaction. Now one obvious question that a lot of people, of course, would uh you know have. Is that uh? Why exactly isn’t a 5g being considered? Now? You know we spoke to a few experts who believe that it could possibly be because 5g signals can only reach shorter distances, meaning that more base stations could be required and 4g would do an ample job in those early days, while the infrastructure is being set up And not not much of it is being transferred on the lunar surface. Hopefully, maybe the moon will also get 5g one day once uh. You know people have settled there.

However, there are a lot of doubts on this plants as well, because nokia, if you remember, had announced a similar partnership with vodafone germany back in 2018 and claimed that the partnership would bring 4g coverage to the moon in 2019. But there has been absolutely no development in that regard, so one only hopes that this new announcement that has come from nasa. Yes, there were reports that nokia has secured the deal, but now nasa have themselves come out and confirmed this particular deal, which means that there will be a 4g network soon on the lunar surface, and all of this is being built up to the artemis mission and The artemis mission itself, which aims to establish a base on the lunar surface, is being built up to ensure that the mission mass that a lot of people are talking about is accomplished by making moon a pit stop on the way to mars. So do let us know what you guys think about this latest development from the world of space and also leave behind your comments.

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