System Concepts for a Series of Lunar Optical Telescopes

by Max E. Nein, George C. Marshall Space Flight Cent, Huntsville, United States,
Billy G. Davis, George C. Marshall Space Flight Cent, Huntsville, United States,
John D. Hilchey, George C. Marshall Space Flight Cent, Huntsville, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III

Abstract: The Lunar Telescope Working Group of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), NASA, has conducted conceptual studies of an evolutionary family of UV/optical/IR telescopes to be based on the lunar surface. Included are: (1) the 16-m aperture Large Lunar Telescope (LLT); (2) the 4-m aperture precursor Lunar Cluster Telescope Experiment (LCTE); and (3) the 2-m Lunar Transit Telescope (LTT) proposed by John McGraw of the Steward Observatory (Angel, 1989; Bely, Burrows, and Illingworth, 1989; Mumma and Smith, 1990; Knacke 1991, Noll, 1991; and McGraw, 1990). Development and emplacement of these advanced astronomical facilities would parallel the buildup of an initial lunar exploration site, an early lunar outpost, and a permanent lunar base. The Working Group has examined the feasibility of constructing such telescopes and assessed technology, subsystem, system, transportation, and operations requirements for their development and emplacement. Influences of the lunar environment and site selection on telescope design and operation were also evaluated.

Subject Headings: Telescopes | Moon | Space colonies | Site investigation | Flight | Federal government | Feasibility studies

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