In message <HgtRf.1288$fy1.134081@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Andrew Yee
EADS SPACE Transportation
Contacts for the press:
ASTRON and LOFAR:
Dr. Eugène de Geus, +31 (0)521 595119
EADS SPACE Transportation:
Kirsten Leung, +49-(0) 421 539 53 26
March 9, 2006
Moon-based radiotelescope planned
EADS SPACE Transportation and Astron sign a morandum of understanding
Leiden -- EADS SPACE Transportation and the Netherlands Foundation for
Astronomy ASTRON/LOFAR signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday
in Leiden, Netherlands. The companies want to test the feasibility of a
long wave radio telescope on the moon. A Dutch and German preliminary
study should be the first phase. The program is then likely to be
expanded in a second phase to include other European participants
through ESA. EADS SPACE and ASTRON are therefore contributing to a
European moon program.
The Moon offers scientists a unique platform to detect the earliest
period of our universe. Not having an ionosphere, the Moon is ideal for
radio astronomy of the universe on frequencies below 10 megahertz. In
addition, the far side of the Moon allows permanent protection against
terrestrial radiation interference and periodic protection against
Isn't that actually a bad thing? Apart from the need to provide power
during a 14-earth-day night you have thermal cycling twice every day.
You also need communications, though I suppose that's covered by the
rest of the LIFE programme.
What's the advantage over building it in space, as has already been done
for Radio Astronomy Explorers and described on a much bigger scale by
Arthur Clarke in "Imperial Earth"?