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ILO-X Mauna Kea Mission Success - Global Demo Precursor to Lunar Operations

International Lunar Observatory Association Demonstrates Lunar-Based Observation / Communication Device from Summit of Mauna Kea, Hawai’i

An international community of scientists is testing a privately sponsored optical space telescope that will be launched to the Moon and deliver back first ever astronomical images from the lunar surface

Waimea, Hawai’i (December 20, 2011)
– The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), led by American businessman / educator Steve Durst, plans to place an astronomical observatory on the Moon by 2014 that will capture never before seen images of the Galaxy, Stars, Moon and Earth.

On December 18th-20th, a Global Demonstration of the International Lunar Observatory precursor instrument (the ‘ILO-X’) took place on the Summit of Mauna Kea, hosted by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), when science teams from around the world accessed the instrument over the internet and operated it as if it were on the Moon. Astronomers from the USA mainland, Hawaii, China, India, Canada, Japan, Europe and Africa are part of this historic demonstration of international collaboration in space exploration enabled through the commercial space sector.

The ILO-X is expanding the model of commercial space investment to the Moon to do science, education, exploration and commercial activities – such as Lunar Broadcasting of Space Calendar through affiliated Space Age Publishing Company. “The primary goal of the International Lunar Observatory is to expand human understanding of the Galaxy and Cosmos through observation from our Moon," said ILOA founder and director, Steve Durst. “We are extremely encouraged by our Global Demonstration and are excited about sending the ILO-X to the Moon.”

Google Lunar X PRIZE contender, Moon Express, has designed and is building the International Lunar Observatory precursor (ILO-X) as the first optical astronomical telescope that will operate on the Moon, looking out at the Galaxy and heavens beyond and back at the Earth. About the size of a shoe-box, the ILO-X is using leading edge optical and imaging technology to deliver dramatic inspiring deep sky pictures of objects inside and outside our Milky Way Galaxy.

“The ILO will allow researchers, educators and students from around the world to access astronomical images from the surface of the Moon,” said Bob Richards, co-founder and CEO of Moon Express. “It's inspirational science at its best.”

TOP IMAGE: Moon Express software engineer Jake Forsberg readies the International Lunar Observatory precursor (ILO-X) for a global demonstration from the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

BOTTOM IMAGE: (L-R) Bob Richards, ILOA Director, Founder & CEO, Moon Express; Kimo Pihana, ILOA Director, retired Mauna Kea Ranger; Steve Durst, ILOA Founder & Director.


MSNBC Cosmic Log: Moon telescope tested on Earth


West Hawai'i Today (Front Page): Lander telescope clears trial hurdle

Economic Times of India (Front Page): ILO-X, a small telescope on the moon, to let scientists see the sky from lunar surface


The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to help realize the multifunctional ILO – to advance human knowledge of the Galaxy and Cosmos through observation from our Moon, and to participate in lunar base build-out. The ILOA also co-sponsors with Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums to educate and inspire people about Galaxy 21st Century Education and the wonders of the Cosmos.

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Selected by Forbes as one of the ’15 Names You Should Know’ in 2011, Moon Express (MoonEx) is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company based at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. The company plans to send a series of robotic spacecraft to the Moon for ongoing exploration and commercial development focused on benefits to Earth and has signed a partnership agreement with NASA for development of a lunar lander system.

The Moon Express founders, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Naveen Jain, and Dr. Barney Pell, believe in the long term economic potential of the Moon to produce resources essential to humanity’s future on Earth and in space.

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