While Elon Musk is heading to Mars to colonise the red planet, and make a habitable human settlement, Nasa is planning something similar, but this time it’s our nearest satellite. The human population on earth has been growing by the millions daily, and there will come a time when earth won’t be able to hold us all as space decreases. Hence our outward journey colonising planets will become a thing in the future. Thus making the first step is important.
Nasa – Nokia contract
The Finnish equipment manufacturer’s Bell labs division said that Nasa selected them for deploying an “ultra compact, low-power, space-hardened” 4G network on the lunar surface, which is part of Nasa’s long term goal to start a human settlement on the moon by 2030. Nokia stated that the 4G network can be upgraded to an ultra fast 5G network later on. They also said “The network will self configure on deployment” and added that the network will allow for “vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video.”
The moon’s 4G network will be using significantly smaller cells than those on Earth, Nokia’s Bell Labs said. These will have a smaller range, but they require less power and are easier to transport. The network will be able to adapt to the moon’s climate and withstand extreme temperatures, radiation, and even rocket launches and landings. The equipment will be deployed on the moon’s surface using the lunar lander by the end of 2022.
Nasa investing $370 million in different projects for human settlement on the moon
This movement is part of Nasa’s “Tipping point” scheme part of the Artemis program which funds lunar tech developments. These investments will help Nasa send humans to the moon by 2024, start a lunar base by 2028, and finally establish a permanent human settlement by 2030.
The companies invested in, must contribute some of the total project cost, Nasa stated. Combining NASA resources with industry contributions “shepherds the development of critical space technologies while also saving the agency, and American taxpayers, money.”
Nasa invested around $106 million in something they call “Lunar surface innovation initiative technology” which will help humans themselves, and using robots to explore the moon further. These include a fast wireless charging system, a chemical heat and electrical power source that can survive extreme temperatures, and Nokia’s 4G network.
Nasa also invested in cryogenic fluid management tech, which are liquefied gases kept at ultra low temperatures which are essential for establishing a sustainable presence on the moon.
“Together, NASA and industry are building up an array of mission-ready capabilities to support a sustainable presence on the Moon and future human missions to Mars,” Jim Bridenstine, an administrator at NASA, said.”
Elon Musk’s SpaceX received $53.2m for a demonstration of the transferring of ten metric tons of liquid oxygen between tanks on a starship vehicle, Nasa said.