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NASA wants to turn the lunar crater into the world's largest radio telescope

NASA has begun developing a project for an extraterrestrial radio telescope of unprecedented scale. The special team received $125,000 and time before the end of the year to prepare a plan for such a project. If it succeeds, it will be a breakthrough in basic science, robotics, space flight, exploration of new worlds and other fields.



The idea of the project is to find a crater on the back of the Moon, which can be used as a ready base for a hemispherical bowl of a radio telescope. The robots will then evenly stretch a conductive wire along the bottom of the crater to create a working field at least 1 km in diameter. This is twice the size of FAST, the largest radio telescope to date. In the centre of the bowl will be a signal receiver and in lunar orbit will be a signal repeater satellite to Earth.

It will be built on the opposite side of the moon. First, it is necessary to place the equipment away from the Earth, and secondly, the Moon will act as a natural screen of Earth's radiation and the radio telescope will be able to work under ideal conditions. In particular, to study the universe at a wavelength of 10-50 m, in the frequency band 6-30 MHz, which will allow to learn much more about its past.

It is assumed that the entire project, from crater search to radio telescope operation, will be automated. This will avoid the cost of sending astronauts to the Moon and make the whole project cheaper and safer. NASA hopes that such a global idea will spur progress in other fields of science as well.

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