NASA concept would turn Moon crater into a giant telescope

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NASA is funding an early-stage concept to build a giant telescope in a crater on the far side of the moon through its NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, the space agency announced on April 7.

At a kilometer in diameter, the Lunar Crater Telescope would be the largest filled-aperture radio telescope in the Solar System.

Its location on the Moon's far side would isolate the telescope from electromagnetic interference from Earth, as well as allow it to observe longer wavelengths that are blocked by the Earth's ionosphere.

This would allow scientists to observe fingerprints left by the Big Bang as the universe expanded exponentially in less than a trillionth of a second after it came into existence.

NASA has given the project $125,000 for a nine-month study of the concept. Other projects that received funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program include a lunar landing pad and a robotic explorer for Saturn's moon Enceladus.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Lunar Crater Telescope would be located on the Moon's far side
2. Robots deploy wire mesh and suspend telescope's receiver in lunar crater
3. The Moon would shield the telescope from electromagnetic radiation and the ionosphere
4. Telescope could observe fingerprints left by the Big Bang

VOICEOVER (in English):

"NASA is funding an early-stage concept to build a giant telescope in a crater on the far side of the moon through its NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, the space agency announced on April 7."

"The proposal for the Lunar Crater Telescope would use robots to hoist a wire mesh with a receiver suspended over a crater. At a kilometer in diameter, it would be the largest filled-aperture radio telescope in the Solar System."

"The telescope's location on the Moon's far side would physically isolate it from electromagnetic interference caused by human activity, as well as allow it to observe longer wavelengths that are blocked by the Earth's ionosphere."

"This would allow scientists to observe fingerprints left by the Big Bang as the universe expanded exponentially in less than a trillionth of a second after it came into existence."

SOURCES: NASA, Nature
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2020_Phase_I_Phase_II/lunar_crater_radio_telescope/
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-early-stage-technology-concepts-for-new-continued-study
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-08941-8