SILICON VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), a 501(c)3 organization based in Hawaii and led by American businessman and educator Steve Durst, is sending the first private telescope to the lunar surface in 2015 with Moon Express, Inc., a U.S. commercial lunar company based in Silicon Valley, CA.
Designed and built by Moon Express under contract from ILOA, the International Lunar Observatory precursor (ILO-X) will capture never before seen images of the Galaxies, Stars, Planets, Moon and Earth and be accessible to educators, researchers and the general public in a pioneering experiment to democratize access to space exploration. The ILO-X is expanding the model of commercial space investment to the Moon to do science, education, exploration and commercial activities – such as Lunar Broadcasting of Space Calendar through affiliated Space Age Publishing Company.
ILOA has announced a number of international collaboration agreements to utilize images from the ILO-X for education and outreach, including Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's) with the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA), for an exchange of Galaxy, astronomical images generated by the ILO-X and the Ultra-violet telescope aboard the Chang'e-3 lunar lander, which was launched to the Moon this week. The ILOA global collaboration will also establish an ILOA education and outreach program for Global 21st Century Education from the lunar surface.
"As ILOA prepares for Galaxy 21st Century Education collaboration with the Chang'e-3 UV telescope, I hope today's successful launch of China's Chang'e-3 probe to the Moon will have a great impact on U.S.A. space policy in a positive and constructive way to insure the U.S.A. has robotic Moon operations leading to permanent human presence," said ILOA Founding Director, Steve Durst.
Moon Express has designed and built the International Lunar Observatory precursor (ILO-X) under contract to the ILOA and will deliver it to the lunar surface aboard Moon Express' inaugural mission in 2015. ILO-X is the world's first private lunar telescope and will be accessible over the internet, pioneering a new era of global space research and citizen science with space observation and communication technology on the Moon. The ILO-X is a precursor to the larger, permanent lunar observatory "ILO-1" – a multifunctional 2-meter dish scheduled to be delivered by Moon Express to the Moon's South Pole in 2017 to conduct Galaxy observation and commercial communications activities.
Moon Express is a privately funded lunar resource company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit. The company is engineering a series of low-cost robotic missions to the Moon for commercial and government customers, with a long term goal of locating and developing lunar resources for use in space and on Earth.
"We are beginning a new era of commercial lunar exploration," said Bob Richards, Moon Express Co-founder & CEO and ILOA founding board member. "Moon Express is proud to be working with ILOA to deliver the ILO-X and ILO-1 to the Moon on historic private sector missions of citizen science that, if successful, will be the first American scientific activity on the lunar surface in over forty years."
DISCLAIMER: Moon Express is an independent contractor to ILOA and is not a party to ILOA's MOU with the NOAC or with the CNSA. As a U.S. company operating under U.S. Export Control Laws, Moon Express has no technical interactions at any level with China on the Chang'e-3 mission or in any other areas, nor is it contemplating any and at all times acts in accordance with U.S. law. Further, Moon Express firewalls prevent the inappropriate flow of technical information and there are no instances where any export controlled or protected information is exposed to third parties, domestic or foreign.
For more information about Moon Express, visit: www.moonexpress.com
For more information about ILOA, visit: www.iloa.org
SOURCE Moon Express, Inc.