INTERNATIONAL LUNAR OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION, 4 MISSION UPDATE FEBRUARY 2015: MOON SOUTH POLE – ADVANCING THE NEW FRONTIER
This opportunity for ILOA to engage in an international effort with major and emerging space powers - as well as non spacefaring entities - to advance the frontiers of astronomy, exploration and enterprise to the South Pole of the Moon, is as exciting and enriching as humans on Mars or trillion dollar asteroids, and much closer in time and space.
Refining the vision of the Moon South Pole as a center for 21st Century exploration and enterprise, as well as characterizing the surrounding area for ILO-1 landing site and payload operations will be a major focus of 2015 ILOA activities. ILOA is revitalizing its flagship mission, ILO-1 through collaboration with its two prime contractors. Moon Express will be working on characterizing and identifying potential landing sites in the Malapert Mountain area of the Moon South Pole, while Canadensys Aerospace will continue to advance the observation / communication payload device as it determines South Pole locations best for observations, power and communications.
The Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope on the Chang’e-3 lander continues to operate nominally on the surface of the Moon. In late 2014 ILOA collaborated with CNSA / NAOC to obtain LUT imagery of spiral galaxy M101. In 2015, ILOA will continue to work with China on astronomy from the Moon and take advantage of future opportunities for collaborating on additional historic imagery.
ILO-X precursor mission launch schedule should be announced this year as prime contractor Moon Express prepares to make its attempt at the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The 7-cm optical telescope will then be advanced to flight status to be ready for this pioneering mission.
ILOA Human Service Mission conceptual planning continues to progress through regular interactions and updates with Golden Spike Company, Principal Operating Partners, and other Organizations / Agencies.
ILOA Galaxy Forum is a successful 21st Century Education Program held regularly in cities, countries and continents all around the world. Already active in Hawaii, Asia, North & South America, Europe, and Africa, the program hopes to expand to Antarctica in 2015 / 2016. The Forums connect Galaxy researchers and local educators to help bring Galacticity / Galaxy consciousness to every class.