How launching mobile networks in space can help take us to Mars | Space


Thierry Klein, President of Bell Labs Solutions Research at Nokia, outlines the development of mobile networks in space and how they can fuel future space missions.

We have come a huge distance from the first lunar landing when sending humans and machines to outer space represented a watershed moment in human ingenuity. Although every mission to outer space will remain a huge accomplishment, the risks, and to some extent, the perceived rewards, have become lesser as space technology has made space travel more accessible. So accessible that we are now regularly rocketing everyday civilians to explore the cosmos!

What this means is not that space travel has become ‘easy’, but that our aspirations have broadened as space travel, a thing we once deemed impossible, has become borderline normality with the advancement of seriously sophisticated tech.

This has encouraged our innovators to explore new ventures in space, not just set on exploring the universe but on making life on Earth better from beyond, too. Space travel is no longer just about sending people to space but about deriving value for the everyday citizen on Earth.

Although mobile networks in space have improved over the years, the things we need to succeed have remained constant. Communication is one of the most crucial elements in this regard; wherever humans and machines go in the Solar System, they need to be able to reach one another.

We couldn’t have gone to the moon without communication, and we certainly cannot get to Mars without it.

Inter-stellar cooperation

Connectivity and communications are critical for any future sustained human presence on other planets. Astronauts will need the same advanced capabilities in space we have on Earth to support their missions and live their lives.

They will need access to voice, video and data communications capabilities, telemetry, and biometric data. To perform their mission tasks, they must tap into vast sensor grids, deploy scientific payloads and…

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