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<br />The idea of an array of various types of telescopes on the dark side of the moon, with the capacity to gauge the distances accurately between them, to avoid radio and atmospheric noise, and such is probably one of the best ideas I have heard of.<br /><br />I also agree that it (astronomy) is one of the best ways to invigorate interest in interstellar missions. I keep hearing about all the "little" missions we have going on, the funding issues, etc. and wonder why, when we are no longer in the position of getting our proverbial feet wet, we don't sit back, collect our thoughts, and say "why don't we just go for the big one here, quit going after the little fish, and put our efforts into reeling in the big one.<br /><br />I am talking about a serious installation on the opposite side of the moon that brings us the kind of view of the universe that can really tell us what is out there.<br /><br />We want a moon base anyway, for many reasons, such as a Mars mission test base, scientific research, getting our space wings working, industrial research, etc. We separate all these missions, and each one seems like so much money, time, etc., and the political will and committment keeps faltering because of it.<br /><br />A comprehensive program that shows a clear stair step structure to a common goal, with the smaller goals being accomplished along the way and leading to an all around stronger program, for everyone. Be they astronomers, physicists, possible investors in space technology, interstellar programs, life scientists/biologists, etc.<br /><br />I guess what I am getting at is, instead of building another telescope sattelite/probe that has its own separate mission profie, why not pool those resources with those who want a moon base for materials science, planetary experience, or whatever. An installation needs to be there anyway, why not pool resources as much as possible/combine resources along multiple missions, all the while building an infrastructure that strengthe
A lunar side observatory, made of large telescopes spread over a large area, linked together<br />acting like a gigantic single one, would be very desirable.<br /><br />Without all the excessive management & quangos, it would not have to be too expensive.<br /><br />There is no substitute for having equipment on site as in space probes however.<br /><br />There is no way we could have the info in Mars, Jupiter Saturn, Neptune, etc <br />without the MERs, Galileo, Cassini, Voyager 2 etc, no matter how good telescopes are.<br /><br />But a giant farside Lunar observatory would undoubtably image extra solar planets,<br />get spectra, etc & find interesting targets prior to intersteller missions.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>