Mountain View, CA, July 22, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- The world’s first astronomical observatory bound for the Moon was announced today as a joint venture between the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) and Google Lunar X Prize contender Odyssey Moon Limited. A dual function ILO precursor instrument demonstrating observation and communication techniques will be part of the scientific and commercial payloads aboard Odyssey Moon’s inaugural “MoonOne” lander mission, planned for 2011, and destined for the lunar equator in pursuit of the Google Lunar X Prize. The ILO precursor instrument will be used to conduct astrophysical and in-situ observations and communications, providing scientific research, technical demonstrations and proof of concept for the ILO venture. The announcement was made during a NASA Lunar Science Institute conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
The ultimate goal of the ILOA is to finance and deliver a fully operational International Lunar Observatory to the Moon's mountainous South Pole region where energy and resources may be abundant. The International Lunar Observatory will be delivered to the Moon's southern polar region aboard Odyssey Moon's "MoonTwo" lunar lander early in the next decade, establishing permanent astrophysical observations and lunar commercial communications systems, while also helping to catalyze international lunar build-out.
The ILOA is a consortium of scientists and visionaries from, to date, Canada, China, India, Europe, Japan and Hawaii / USA who want to demonstrate the value of the Moon for scientific study of the Galaxy, Moon, Earth, Sun and Stars; followed by human exploration and eventual settlement. Space Age Publishing Company, ILOA's commercial affiliate, intends to broadcast its Space Calendar weekly and Lunar Enterprise Daily via the ILO.
“Permanent human expansion to the Moon is our next great advance – to become an interglobal, multi-world species,” said Steve Durst, Director of the ILOA and Founder of Space Age Publishing Company.
The space transportation and mission partner in the venture is Odyssey Moon Limited, a commercial lunar enterprise headquartered in the Isle of Man. The company was unveiled in December 2007 as the first official contender in the $30M Google Lunar X Prize competition, announcing a series of robotic missions to the Moon during the International Lunar Decade in support of science, commerce and exploration. The company intends to offer frequent, low cost and reliable access to the lunar surface for private and government customers.
“The International Lunar Observatory is a tribute to what humanity can do together on other worlds,” said Odyssey Moon CEO Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards. “The ILO has been an inspiration to Odyssey Moon and we are extremely pleased that ILOA has expressed the confidence in our company to pursue this noble venture together.”
Odyssey Moon’s prime contractor, MacDonald Dettwiler Associates (MDA) of Canada, has been awarded a contract by the ILOA to conduct a design study on the ILO precursor instrument. MDA is famous for the provision of robotics aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station and more recently robotic technology for satellite servicing and planetary exploration. MDA is a strong supporter of commercial space activity.
The organizations hope that the ILO venture represents an opportunity for all people of Earth from any nation to support and participate in near-term pioneering missions to the Moon.
About International Lunar Observatory Association
The International Lunar Observatory Association is a Hawaii-based non-profit organization dedicated to expanding human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon, via its ILO and ILO Human Service missions. Its upcoming 24-25 July 2008 Board of Directors Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, aims to advance ILOA international dimensions, and preview the ILO Polar and Human Service missions. ILOA has a daily operating executive team in its Hawai’i office, and an international board of Directors and Advisors.
About Odyssey Moon Limited
Odyssey Moon Limited is a private commercial lunar enterprise headquartered in the Isle of Man involving partners in many nations. The first official contender in the $30M Google Lunar X Prize competition, the company is an innovative partnership of aerospace, financial, science, education, legal and policy interests that have come together to offer ongoing commercial lunar business services and products for humanity’s permanent return to the Moon. Odyssey Moon is dedicated to the long-term responsible development of the Moon for the benefit of all Humanity.
For further information please contact:
+1 (416) 356-6211
Information about the Odyssey Moon: www.odysseymoon.com
International Lunar Observatory Association / Space Age Publishing Company
+1 (808) 885-3474
+1 (650) 324-3705
Information about ILOA.: www.iloa.org