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First telescope on Moon to be set up in 3 years

LONDON: Within three years, a telescope as big as a shoe box and weighing just about two kg will be installed on the moon. The images taken by the lunar telescope will be open to all educators, researchers and the general public in a pioneering experiment to democratize access to space exploration.

The world’s first mission to the Moon’s south pole will take place in 2016, according to the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) and Moon Express. The private enterprise mission will be both scientific and commercial and the goal is to deliver the International Lunar Observatory (ILO) aboard a Moon Express robotic lander. The ILO-X telescope designed and built for the ILOA by Moon Express will be the first telescope on the Moon.

“The primary goal of the International Lunar Observatory is to expand human understanding of the galaxy and cosmos through observation from our Moon,” said ILOA founder and director Steve Durst.

“We are extremely excited about sending the ILO-X to the Moon as soon as possible, and continuing our progress toward establishing permanent human presence on the Moon,” Durst added. Moon Express will also utilize the mission to explore the Moon’s south pole for mineral resources and water. Lunar probes have provided compelling evidence of mineral and volatile deposits in the Moon’s southern polar region where energy and resources may be abundant.

The ILO-X , with its twometer dish antenna, will be the first instrument to conduct international astrophysical observations and communications from the lunar surface, providing scientific research, commercial broadcasting and enabling 21st century education and “citizen science” on the Moon, Durst said. The International Lunar Observatory will be set up on a site close to the Malapert Mountain near the Moon’s south pole for galaxy and astronomy observation and communication.

“We are very excited to announce that our second moon mission will be to the lunar South Pole to deliver the International Lunar Observatory and to prospect for resources ,” said Moon Express CEO Robert Richards.

“The mission will provide a historic landing in an unexplored region of the Moon that may harbor some of the greatest resource deposits in the solar system,” he said.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/First-telescope-on-Moon-to-be-set-up-in-3-years/articleshow/21232787.cms

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