NASA approved the project of building the largest radio telescope with a filled aperture in the Solar system, in the bowl of a crater on the dark side of the moon. It will create robotic planetary Rovers, and the telescope will be able to explore the early Universe, reported on the Agency’s website.
The project LCRT (Lunar Crater Radio Telescope) was proposed in the framework of the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts), the purpose of which is to support ideas and projects in the field of space, exploration of the Solar system and far space, missile and satellite sector and Aeronautics, which later can have a major impact on the development of the whole aerospace industry and can be implemented within 10-40 years. NIAC started its work in 1998 and is still in effect (except for the period from 2007 to 2011).
The aim of the project LCRT — creation kilometer radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where such a tool would be protected from radio noise and interference from our planet and the Sun (in the case of a moonlit night). In particular, such a telescope could observe at wavelengths from ten to fifty meters (it’s frequency from six to thirty megahertz), which are reflected by the ionosphere, and will be able to explore the early Universe. If this idea is implemented, LCRT will be the largest radio telescope with a filled aperture in the Solar system. Today this telescope is a ground-based 500-meter radio telescope FAST in China.
It is expected that the telescope will be deployed on the back side of the moon in the proper crater with a diameter of 5 kilometers, thus, its creation will be engaged in robotic planetary Rovers DuAxelwho stretched a wire mesh and fix it on the walls of the crater, with a suitable ratio of depth to diameter. Then, over the center of the resulting antennas of the telescope will be installed outboard of the radiator. Currently, the team LCRT received nine months period and 125 thousand dollars to complete the first of three phases of work on the project, after which he must obtain Agency approval for the continuation of activities.