Nokia Bell Labs’ 4G LTE communications technology will help NASA advance its mission to land more people on the moon.
NASA has announced that Nokia will build the first ever cellular network on the moon. The Finnish company was selected as a partner for the space agency’s Tipping Point programme, which funds technologies at the cutting edge of space exploration.
The network will use 4G LTE – the precursor to 5G – technology on the moon’s surface. Nokia said it will transform lunar communications by delivering “reliable, high data rates while containing power, size and cost”.
We’re over the moon to announce further details after being named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the Moon.
Improved communications infrastructure on the moon is an aspect of NASA’s Artemis programme, which aims to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024 and to establish a sustainable presence on its surface by the end of the decade. NASA said that Nokia’s system could “support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards”.
The LTE tech will be developed by Nokia Bell Labs. Partnering with spaceflight firm Intuitive Machines, the research company will build and deploy an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end solution” on the moon’s surface in late 2022. The system will self-configure after deployment.
Its purpose will be “critical communication capabilities” for transmitting data, Nokia said. This will include command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming high-definition video.
It will also give astronauts wireless connectivity for voice and video communications, biometric data exchange and more, which are vital for “long-term human presence” on the moon.
Nokia CTO and president at Nokia Bell Labs, Marcus Weldon, said the system has been built on the company’s “rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the big bang”.
The technology has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of launch and landing on the moon, Nokia said, and to function in the extreme conditions of space. The company added that it plans to further commercialise its LTE product and investigate how 5G can be applied to space-exploration technologies.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Sarnia-Lambton increased Saturday by four to 22, public health officials reported.
The increase was a result of six more confirmed cases, bringing the running total in Sarnia-Lambton to 426, and two more resolved cases, Lambton public health officials said in their daily update.
The total number of resolved cases was 379.
Friday Bluewater Health announced the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 being cared for at Sarnia’s hospital had dropped to zero for the first time since Oct. 29.
An outbreak was declared Friday at an unnamed workplace due to two confirmed cases, and two cases this week were linked to Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, sending 19 students home to quarantine.
Sarnia-Lambton remained in the yellow, protect bracket in Ontario’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework.
There have been 25 local COVID-19 deaths, but none since early June.
Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin will take the first woman to the moon’s surface, the billionaire said on Friday as NASA nears a decision to pick its first privately built lunar landers capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” Bezos said in a post on Instagram with a video of the engine test this week at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, has tallied 1,245 seconds of test-fire time and will power the company’s National Team Human Landing System lunar lander.
Blue Origin has vied for lucrative government contracts in recent years and is competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, owned by Leidos Holdings Inc, to win a contract to build NASA’s next human lunar landing system to ferry humans to the moon in the next decade.
1:32 Jeff Bezos unveils mockup of moon lander ‘Blue Moon’
Jeff Bezos unveils mockup of moon lander ‘Blue Moon’ – May 9, 2019
In April, NASA awarded a lunar lander development contract to Blue Origin’s team worth $579 million, as well as two other companies: SpaceX which received $135 million to help develop its Starship system and Leidos-owned Dynetics which won $253 million.
NASA is poised to pick two of the three companies “in early March” 2021 to continue building their lander prototypes for crewed missions to the moon beginning in 2024, an agency spokeswoman has said.
But slim funds for the landing systems made available to NASA by Congress, as well as uncertainty over the incoming Biden administration’s views on space exploration, have threatened to delay NASA’s decision to advance the lunar lander contracts.
The next-gen version of Madden 21 released a day early for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S fans who already owned the game on current-gen consoles.
I’ve been playing the game since early on December 3, and one thing is pretty clear to me; it’s that this experience doesn’t warrant a full review because it’s not a brand new game.
I believe I’d be doing EA and fans a disservice by placing a score on what I consider more of a remastering than a new game.
That said, here’s the good, the bad and the bottom line.
Slight Visual Upgrade
If you’re looking for the kind of visual upgrade that gamers saw with NBA 2K21 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find that here. That said, there are some cutscenes between plays that will draw some admiration.
The best upgrade inthe next-gen version is in the PlayStation 5 controller. The haptic feedback comes through nicely on tackles and some of the ball-carrying situations. I adds a bit to the immersion and delivers an on-the-field quality.
Play-Calling Menu is an Adjustment, But a Long-Term Win
The new play-calling menu has more options than before, like finding plays for specific targets, and even making a favorites list. The UI is very different than what most Madden fans are used to, so there is some adjustment necessary.
Still, I see it as a change that will be positive in the long run.
I usually call this the bad section, but instead, I’m going with “the underwhelming.”
It’s not necessarily bad–at least not in every instance–and as I mentioned, this is more of a remaster than a full new release.
Players Feel More Weighted, But it Needs Balancing
Some users may like this, and I might ultimately join that group. However, at this point, the players mostly feel slow and sluggish with the exception of the most dynamic athletes like Tyreek Hill, Lamar Jackson and Christian McCaffrey.
I’m all for there being a differentiator in this vein, but at the moment, the defense seems to be at a major disadvantage in space against most any skill position player. In my experiences, this has led to a lot more big plays down the field caused by missed tackles.
The players definitely move more realistically than before, which was the major connection with Next-Gen Stats, but defensive players need a little bit of a buff to allow them to compete. I think this is fixable, or admittedly, it might be something I get used to over the next few weeks.
However, at this point, current-gen Madden is actually more fun to play. That’s probably a bit of death blow, but after further review, it’s how I’m feeling.
Weather Effects Aren’t a Thing
I was initially told weather would have no impact on gameplay.
Later, I was told the slipping and dropped passes from current-gen would still be in the game. I haven’t seen either as of yet, and quite honestly, I’m not sure they were ever quite as impacting as they should have been on PS4 or Xbox One.
While it is nice to see the footprints in the snow on parts of the field, this aspect of the presentation is the epitome of underwhelming.
No New Modes
I’ll keep this pretty short and plain: there are no new next-gen exclusive modes.
Lower-Quality Visuals in Some Instances
EA wanted to make sidelines more visibly appealing, and they accomplished their goal in some areas. However, there are some instances where the next-gen version becomes a visual downgrade. In some cutscenes, it appears the heads of linemen have simply been placed on the body of a wide receiver or defensive back.
The body types don’t match and this creates a very unfavorable looking model on the screen–especially considering this is a next-gen upgrade.
Next-Gen Stats is a Useless Gimmick at This Point
One of the biggest drivers for Madden 21 on next-gen was the use of Next-Gen Stats. A great usage of this tech would have been as an engine behind a new ratings system.
However, instead it’s more of a useless statistical overlay that really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. A number pops up on the screen during some pretty nice looking replays, but none of the speeds actually feel faster than the others, and it feels as though it’s all arbitrarily issued just for the sake of the graphic.
Hopefully EA builds this out into something with more meat on the bones in future versions of the game.
The Bottom Line
Madden 21 on next-gen was free to anyone who bought the game on PS4 or Xbox One X. Because of that, it’s hard to complain about it taking just a small bunny hop forward from the current-gen version.
That said, it’s impossible not to compare this to what 2K did with NBA 2K21. The difference is night and day. NBA 2K21 on next-gen still has some bugs to work out to reach its potential, but at least they tried to deliver a different experience.
At some point in the next couple of weeks, NBA 2K21 will have its act together, and it will have still delivered a true next-gen experience about eight months before Madden.
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