Developing Technologies for Lunar-Based Astronomy

by Stewart W. Johnson, BDM Int Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
Jack O. Burns, BDM Int Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
Koon Meng Chua, BDM Int Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
John P. Wetzel, BDM Int Inc, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The Moon is probably the best place in the inner solar system to locate a new generation of astronomical observatories. The thrust of space program planning is toward a return to the Moon to stay and eventual flights to Mars. We feel that humans will inevitably return to the Moon and lunar outposts and bases will become a reality. Because the historical record indicates that the development of new observatories requires time frequently measured in decades, it is necessary to start now to develop the concepts and technologies for the next generation of space-based telescopes. A successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, with its 15 year lifetime, could be either in High Earth Orbit (HEO) or on the Moon. To properly assess the merits of these suggested future telescopes, technology development for lunar as well as HEO telescopes should now be pursued so that properly informed decisions may be made. This paper points out lunar-specific areas for investigation.

Subject Headings: Astronomy | Space colonies | Telescopes | Moon | Space exploration | Orbits | Thrust | Flight

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