International Lunar Observatory Association

INTERNATIONAL LUNAR OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION, 4 MISSION UPDATE JANUARY 2018: ILOA & GALAXY FORUM - 10 YEARS ON

 

20 January 2018

 

Now in its second decade of effective operation, ILOA with its principal outreach enterprise Galaxy Forum program continues to advance with wide-ranging successes. We are making progress towards the ILOA missions to conduct astrophysical and other observations and communications from the Moon, and help catalyze Human Lunar build-out at the Moon South Pole.

ILOA is facilitating 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.

The flagship ILO-1 mission is being developed through work of ILOA prime contractors Moon Express Inc of Cape Canaveral, FL and Canadensys Aerospace Corp of Toronto, Ontario. Moon Express is currently working on landing and hazard avoidance technologies through the ILO-1 Landing Technology Advanced R&D contract, with actual ILO-1 spacecraft development by Moon Express to begin later in 2018. Canadensys Aerospace Corp's Lunar Optics Program for ILOA is well underway. It is intended to deliver "a flight-ready low-cost optical payload for the ILO-1 mission, ruggedized for the Moon South Pole environment". Canadensys completed the Lunar Electronics Program for ILOA in October 2017.

The ILO-X mission to achieve the first Milky Way Galaxy image and astronomical observation and communications from the Moon awaits successful landing by Moon Express after launch aboard the Rocket Lab Electron vehicle, now ready for commercial flights at Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. ILOA real-time astronomy activity on the lunar surface continues indirectly through the ILOA / NAOC MoU and recently reached 4 full years in December 2017 via the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope aboard the China Chang'e-3 Moon lander.

The Galaxy Forum program continues to pursue its two principal priorities: To advance Galaxy 21st Century Education in every class, and to develop Principal Operating Partnerships to support ILOA missions, with notable POP progress in Canada and Southeast Asia, as well as in Japan, China, India and Europe. On Hawaii, the Mauna Kea World Park 21st century transcending vision of Mayor Harry Kim works to define itself, providing inspiration, direction and foundation.

ILOA, Space Age Publishing Company and the Galaxy Forum program are also raising awareness and advocating for the pioneering possibilities for "First Woman on the Moon", the theme adopted in response to ILOA advocacy by the International Astronautical Federation for a special high-level "3G Diversity Forum" Wednesday 27 September 2017 at the IAC in Australia. "First Women / Americans at the Moon South Pole 2020-2021" is the ILOA / Space Age editorial theme advanced for the current US Administration, with still-undetermined effect and success, and it will be the theme of several Galaxy Forum events this year – for the poster "Women in Space, Women on the Moon" please click here.