INTERNATIONAL LUNAR OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION, 4 MISSION UPDATE MARCH 2017: ILO-1 GALACTICITY, 21st CENTURY EDUCATION & ASTRONOMY FROM THE MOON
ILOA is advancing an international effort with major and emerging space powers, companies, science and educational institutions, teachers, students and the general public to advance Galaxy Awareness / Galacticity by expanding the frontiers of astronomy, exploration, enterprise and education to the South Pole of the Moon -- a goal as exciting and enriching as humans on Mars or trillion dollar asteroids, and much closer in time and space.
A unique high resolution topographical vision of the Moon South Pole is being developed by ILOA and ILO-1 instrument contractor Canadensys Aerospace of Canada. Optimizing the ILO-1 landing site, payload operations, electronics and mission profile based on these data sets illuminating the South Pole region is a prime focus of 2017-2018 ILOA activities. Moon Express is the prime mission contractor providing delivery to the lunar surface. Payload interface documentation from the ME lander will allow for further refinement of the Observatory’s instrumentation and communications systems.
The Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope on the Chang’e-3 lander continues to operate nominally on the surface of the Moon approaching Lunar Day 30 of continuous operations on the Moon. ILOA is well positioned in 2017 with existing MOU with CNSA and NAOC to expand ILOA-China cooperation on ILO-1 as well as Chang’e-4, 5, and 6.
ILO-X precursor mission has been reactivated with Moon Express announcing a Google Lunar XPRIZE verified contract for 2 launches in 2017 with NewSpace start-up Rocket Lab. The 7-cm optical telescope will be advanced to flight status in tandem with progress toward flight readiness of the MX-1 spacecraft and proving of the Rocket Lab Electron launcher.
ILOA Human Service Mission conceptual planning continues to progress through interactions and updates with Golden Spike Company, and other Organizations / Agencies.
Galaxy Forum is the primary education and outreach initiative of ILOA, designed to advance 21st Century Education and identify support for that education. Approximately 75 Galaxy Forums with a total of almost 300 presentations have been held in 26 locations worldwide (since Galaxy Forum USA, July 4, 2008) including Hawaii, Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, Africa, Chile, Brazil, Kansas and New York.