Future Lunar Based Observatory Site Protected
by Guy Cramer

194,068 square Kilometers have been secured on the far side of the lunar surface for a future Moon base for observatories, (Picture and coordinates at end of article). Located at the exact middle of the opposite side of the moon the base may one day become home to the most powerful telescopic, radio, gamma ray… observatories in human history. The name of the site is called the Icarus Lunar Observatory Base (ILOB) there is a crater within the protected region called Icarus. This is the farthest solid point away from Earth in our moon-planet combination.

Jeffrey G. Taylor, a University of Hawaii geophysicist states "The moon is good place to do space-based astronomy, as it moves rather slowly compared to the whipping around like current space telescopes. The moon also has a more stable surface than the Earth and no atmospheric interference.

"That means you can spread out a baseline of optical telescopes for interferometry," Taylor says. "It would be really big. At Mauna Kea (Hawaii) they are hooking up the two Keck telescopes with a 100-meter baseline. On the moon, they could have a 10 kilometer (6 mile) baseline."

Image Courtesy of NASA

The moon also is big enough for huge steerable radio telescopes, bigger than the steerable dishes at the Very Large Array in New Mexico.

The reason the far side of the moon is often referred to as the dark side has nothing to do with lack of sunlight as the far side gets the same amount of sunlight that the nearside does within a lunar month, however as the nearside of the moon always faces earth, if a spacecraft goes behind the moon it goes into communications blackout as there is no capability for direct line of sight transmission, thus the far side of the moon is referred to as dark due to the lack of radio signals from earth. This is why the exact middle of the far side was selected for the observatory site as it is the quietist area for this type of listening device such as a radio telescope. There is also the benefit within the visual spectrum as when the moon is full from earth perspective the far side of the moon is in almost complete darkness as the shine from the earth and sun are on the opposite side, this lack of reflection and direct or indirect sunlight will make for favorable conditions unlike any on earth or in earths orbit.

A loophole in Space Law allows individuals and companies to hold Mineral Rights on the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies. Growing concern from Scientists that these rights may be held hostage have been alleviated by a three man North American team; Dr. Joseph Resnick, Dr. Timothy R. O'Neill and Guy Cramer (ROC-Resnick/O'Neill/Cramer team) who have acquired the mineral rights for 95% of the side of the moon that faces Earth, the polar regions and 50% of the far side of the moon.

After setting aside 8.9 million acres around Apollo 11 Lunar landing site and designated as a "World Heritage Site". The ROC team announced that it was holding more than 75% of the Lunar Mineral rights to allow for the extraction of Helium-3 and other minerals for the advancement of Space Exploration, Earth and Space Sciences and safer more efficient energy production. See Moon can be mined for abundant Helium-3 to be used in Fusion Reactors on Earth and Space.

Moon - Protected Icarus Region (Dark Side Observatory Park)
170.0°E - 190.0°E
10.0°N - 10.0°S

 Image Statistics:

Image size = 320 rows by 320 columns.

Resolution = 16.0000 pixels per degree (true at the equator).
Scale = 1.8952 kilometers per pixel (true at the equator).

Projection = sinusoidal.
Stretch = auto.

Top Latitude = 10.0 degrees north.
Bottom Latitude = 10.0 degrees south.

Right Longitude = 190.0 degrees east.
Left Longitude = 170.0 degrees east

This is Part 3 of 3
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This material is Copyright © 2004 by Joe Resnick, Timothy R. O'Neill and Guy Cramer, All Rights Reserved.

This material cannot be reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of the Author.
Whole Copies may be printed for personal use; no changes are to be made to the content, names or references.

Universal Mineral Lease Registry

Logistics of the Construction of a Lunar-based Observatory

S89-25054 (January 1989) --- This is an artist's concept depicting a possible scene of an observatory on the far side of the moon. The artwork was part of NASA new initiatives study which surveyed possible future manned planetary and lunar expeditionary activity. The objective of the lunar observatory case study is to understand the effort required building and operating a long-duration human-tended astronomical observatory on the moon's far side. Some scientists feel that the lunar far side, quiet, seismically stable and shielded from Earth's electronic noise, may be the solar system's best location for such an observatory. The facility would consist of optical telescope arrays, stellar monitoring telescopes and radio telescopes, allowing nearly complete coverage of the radio and optical spectra. The observatory would also serve as a base for geologic exploration and for a modest life sciences laboratory. In the left foreground, a large fixed radio telescope is mounted on a crater. The telescope focuses signals into a centrally located collector, which is shown suspended above the crater. The lander in which the crew would live can be seen in the distance on the left. Two steerable radio telescopes are placed on the right; the instrument in the foreground is being serviced by scientists. The other astronaut is about to replace a small optical telescope that has been damaged by a micrometeorite. A very large baseline optical interferometer system can be seen in the right far background. The painting was done by Mark Dowman and Doug McLeod.

Courtesy NASA: Lunar Exploration Imagery


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