International Lunar Observatory:

ILO Mission Update (4th Quarter 2005)


The ILO project, by Space Age Publishing Company and its Lunar Enterprise Corporation subsidiary of Hawaii and California, USA, to emplace a robotic observatory / antenna dish for astrophysical and other observations / communications near the Moon's South Pole by mid-2008 is advancing through a new phase with preparations for the ILO Advisory Committee Workshop, set for 17-20 November 2005 on the west, Kohala coast of Hawai`i Island.

The ILO AC Workshop, with some 60 invited astrophysics and space technology experts, financial and philanthropic independents, visionaries and entrepreneurs from Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Russia, USA mainland, Hawaii and elsewhere, is tasked with ILO mission determination for multi-wavelength observation; with user, sponsor and funding identification; and with organizational, management and executive realization.

A toe-hold for lunar base build-out and catalyst for cis-lunar commerce and development, the robotic ILO is both a science and commerce mission, both public and private, for astronomy and communications, with anticipated human service mission follow-on.

The Phase A "Lunar Dish Observatory" 2003 study by SpaceDev of Poway, California, concluded such an enterprise was feasible for notably low costs (US$35 million) within a standard 2-3 year commercial timeframe. SpaceDev's Phase B "International Lunar Observatory" 2004 report, also commissioned and financed by Space Age / LEC and with technical consultation from Optech Inc of Canada, focused on landing technologies required for the spacecraft's precision, safe touchdown at the lunar south pole.

Use and support of the ILO is being considered with the University of Hawaii, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, National Radio Astronomical Observatory, and Gemini Observatory (all in Hawaii), as well as with the China National Astronomical Observatory, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, European Southern Observatory, and others. The ILO also may engage significantly with Space Age Publishing Company's other major initiatives: "Stanford on the Moon" at Stanford University, California; Hawaii Space Tours "From Hawaii to the Moon", and  Kansas state motto initiative, "Ad Astra -- To The Stars".

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