Robotics specialist Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay has one A concept designed for a telescopeIt could also come from a science fiction novel: The device should not be stationed on Earth or on a satellite, but in a huge crater on the surface of the Moon.
The idea, which attracted the attention of NASA as part of the competition, is now one step closer to potential implementation. Wednesday JPL announcedThis is this Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) receives $ 500,000 in funding for Phase Two through NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program. Officially, the telescope is not yet a NASA project, but the funding is a clear sign that the agency is taking the plan seriously.
The Cosmic Middle Ages
The main goal of the LCRT is to measure radio waves that originated in the cosmic medieval era. This is a period of time that lasted a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, before the first stars formed. Very little is currently known about this time.
In this concept, Bandyopadhyay emphasizes why the rear of the moon is so suitable for radio telescopes. The moon would form a kind of natural protective shield and isolate the telescope from man-made radio interference. In addition, the satellites cannot interfere, and during the lunar night, the telescope will also be protected from the interference of the sun.
One of the challenges is building the telescope and transporting all the material onto the Earth satellite. JPL hopes to be able to keep the weight of the required parts as low as possible. In addition, construction must be supported by robots.