NASA supports death star design for crater telescope on the moon – National


It’s not the moon. It’s a … moon with a telescope on it.

NASA has unveiled a plan to build a massive radio telescope on the moon in a project that appears to borrow from the design of the death star that destroys the planet in Star Wars.

The space agency says it is developing an idea to build a crater lunar radio telescope (LCRT) on the other side of the moon, where it would use a large crater as a natural radio antenna to amplify the signal.

“The moon acts as a physical shield that isolates the lunar surface telescope from radio interference / noise from Earth sources,” wrote Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay, the lead researcher on the proposal, on the NASA website.

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Bandyopadhyay says that a telescope on the other side of the moon would have many advantages compared to those on or in orbit around the Earth, because it would be able to pick up radio signals which are disturbed by all the noise around our planet. These signals exist in the ultra-long wavelength of the radio spectrum, which humans have largely been unable to exploit when looking at the universe.

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The plans for a lunar crater radio telescope on the moon are presented in this NASA document.

The plans for a lunar crater radio telescope on the moon are presented in this NASA document.

Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay / NASA

Bandyopadhyay received a grant to develop the proposal through NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, which is looking for new and original ideas for exploring space.

According to its plan, NASA would deploy several climbing robots to build the telescope inside a crater 3 to 5 km wide on the other side of the moon. The telescope itself would consist of a 1 km wide wire mesh with a huge radio telescope in the center.

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NASA is funding nearly two dozen projects this year under the NIAC three-phase program. The lunar crater project is one of many projects in the early stages of development, but it seems to have captured the imagination of people like no other.

“NASA builds a death star”, a person tweeted.

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A telescope on the other side of the moon could also help search for extraterrestrial signals, Wired journalist said. Daniel Oberhaus said Tuesday on Twitter.

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Researchers have been listening to extraterrestrial signals for several years now, but a telescope on the moon would allow them to hear a wider range of space noise. This means that – hypothetically – they might be able to hear something drowning from noise on Earth.

Obviously, it’s hard to wait for a signal from extraterrestrials.

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However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a death star on hand for a close encounter, would it?

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