The World's first mission to south pole of the Moon for installation of a permanent telescope on the lunar surface was announced in July 2013. This installation of telescope would aid in the professional and amateur researchers. The announcement was made during the NASA Lunar Science Institute conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
This is a private mission and has been announced by the International Lunar Observatory Association and Moon Express, jointly. The mission would be both scientific and commercial and they have planned to deliver the International Lunar Observatory (ILO) aboard a Moon Express robotic lander.
The mission will be utilised by the Moon Express to explore the South Pole of Moon for mineral resources and water. Earlier, evidences of mineral deposits in moon's southern polar region have been reported during the lunar probes.
The International Lunar Observatory will set-up a 2 meter dish antenna and this would be the first instrument of the world that will conduct international astrophysical observations and communications from the surface of the moon. This will be helpful in providing commercial broadcasting and scientific research. It will also enable Galaxy 21st century education and citizen science in the moon.
The ILO and its precursor will be the first private space telescope to operate from the lunar surface and will have an internet-based access and control system. As per the announcement, the Lunar South Pole mission is expected to start in 2016. Before it, the Moon Express would start sending a series of robotic missions to moon in 2015 to support science, commerce and exploration.
When: July 2013