KAMUELA, Hawaii, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- International Lunar Observatory Association is participating in the Chang'e-3 Moon lander mission. This great feat of engineering is the first Moon landing in almost 40 years, and could very well, with a rising tide of interest and imperative for lunar development, mark the beginning of permanent operations on the Moon.
The International Lunar Observatory Association has Memoranda of Understanding with China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) to exchange observation time between China's Lunar near-Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) aboard Chang'e-3 and the ILO-X Precursor and ILO-1 Moon South Pole missions currently in development for launch 2015-2016.
Directors, Scientists and Associates of ILOA are now actively working with NAOC and CNSA colleagues in preparation for Chang'e-3 / ILOA Galaxy observations expected to commence mid-January.
"The landing of Chang'e-3 is very likely to accelerate plans for Human and Robotic Moon Missions, in China, the USA and elsewhere. It will also facilitate our Galaxy Forum: 21st Century Education programs around the world," says Steve Durst, Founder and Director of ILOA.
ILO-1, the original ILOA mission, will see a multifunctional 2-meter dish observatory placed near the South Pole of the Moon. The mission (NET 2016) will conduct radio astronomy, including Galaxy First Light Imaging Program; and Commercial Communications, including Space Calendar Lunar Broadcasting, while serving as a beacon for lunar base buildout. ILOA has conducted studies with MDA of Canada on developing the ILO-1 primary instrument, and Moon Express of Silicon Valley USA is creating the spacecraft that will deliver ILO-1 to the surface of the Moon.
ILOA is also working with the Moon Express Team on the ILO-X mission to fly a precursor 7-cm optical telescope instrument aboard the MX-1 lander when it attempts to win the Google Lunar X Prize competition in 2015.
ILOA is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to advance human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon, and to participate in internationally cooperative lunar base build-out. The ILOA co-sponsors with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums to advance 21st Century Education. Galaxy Forums, designed to provide greater global awareness, capabilities and action in Galaxy science, exploration and enterprise, are held in Hawaii, Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Africa, Brazil, Chile, Southeast Asia, Kansas and New York. Current plans are for expansion to Antarctica in 2014. For more information visit www.iloa.org.
CNSA is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China. It leads the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program and is responsible for the Chang'e-3 Mission as a whole.
NAOC is dedicated to astronomical research and public education and hosts the Lunar and Planetary Research Center. It is the responsible institute for the Lunar near-Ultraviolet Telescope aboard Chang'e-3.
SOURCE International Lunar Observatory Association