Artist’s illustration of the International Lunar Observatory on the south pole of the Moon. Image Credit: Michael Carroll/ILOA
Scheduled to be sent to the south pole of the Moon sometime in 2019, the International Lunar Observatory is expected to conduct the first astrophysical observations from the lunar surface. The mission managers hope that it will offer a brand new astrophysical perspective for scientists worldwide.
The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) and Moon Express have recently inked a deal for the delivery of the first International Lunar Observatory to the Moon. Under this contract, the mission named ILO-1 would land on the Malapert Mountain – a 3.1-mile tall peak in the Aitken Basin region that is bathed in sunshine most of the time and has an uninterrupted direct line of sight to Earth.
ILOA states that the main goal of the mission is to “expand human understanding of the Galaxy and Cosmos through observation and communication from [the] Moon”. To achieve this, ILO-1 will be equipped with a set of instruments for radio and optical astronomy purposes.
Artist’s rendition of ILO-1 on the Moon. Image Credit: Canadensys Aerospace
“The observatory payload includes the possible primary instrument, a two-meter dish antenna – ...