International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA Hawai’i) of Kamuela, Hawai'i, USA is pleased to announce its plan to reciprocate on the long-standing 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ILOA Hawai'i and National Astronomical Observatories / Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC-CAS) of Beijing, PRC.

The ILO-X, a precursor to the ILO-1 flagship mission to Malapert Point E, is in orbit around the Moon aboard the Intuitive Machines IM-1 Nova-C lunar lander and is scheduled to land on the lunar surface on February 22 at 12:30 HST (22:30 UT).

The September 2012 MoU enabled NAOC to collaborate with ILOA and Hawai’i astronomers to successfully utilize the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) aboard the China Chang'E-3 lander in December 2014 to image the first Galaxy Spiral (M101) ever observed from the surface of the Moon for ILOA. In reciprocity, ILOA’s ILO-X instruments will conduct an invited astronomy observation for NAOC astronomers.

Results from NAOC observations with ILO-X, as well as those from about 10 other ILO-X invited astronomy observations by world-class observatories and astronomers, will be presented at ILOA Galaxy Forum China 2024 being held December 5-11 in Hainan ("China's Hawaii"), with themes "Astronomy from the Moon" and "International Human Moon Missions".


Working with NAOC on this project, ILOA believes this will be the first China-America cooperation on the Moon with a North American instrument (ILO-X). ILOA was honored to have participated in being part of the first China-America cooperation on the Moon with a Chinese instrument (LUT).

As a private, nonprofit enterprise, ILOA was also able to sign an MoU with Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center / Deep Space Exploration Laboratory (DSEL) in 2023 for cooperation on the International Lunar Research Station. ILOA hopes similar opportunities for other NGOs will become available for the USA Artemis Accords initiative.