Artist illustration of the Dark Ages Polarimetry Pathfinder (DAPPER), which will look for faint radio signals from the early universe while operating in a low lunar orbit. Its specialized radio receiver and high-frequency antenna are currently being developed by NRAO. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, Sophia Dagnello

A Roadmap for Science on the Moon

Sept. 30, 2020

From CU Boulder Today: Scientists at CU Boulder have laid out a roadmap for a decade of scientific research at the moon. Teams from the university will participate in four upcoming or proposed space missions that seek to use the moon as a unique laboratory for peering back to the...

An illustration of the Dark Ages Polarimeter Pathfinder, or Dapper, spacecraft orbiting past the far side of the moon.

NASA patented a faster, cheaper route to the moon. The first spacecraft to use it could make Nobel Prize-winning discoveries about the universe.

Sept. 2, 2020

From Business Insider: The moon is both seductively close to Earth and cosmically far away: Decades after the end of the space race, it remains extraordinarily expensive and difficult to actually get there. The journey just got a bit easier, however, thanks to a freshly published NASA invention. The agency's...

NRAO logo

Dark Ages Polarimeter Pathfinder

July 16, 2020

From NRAO eNews: The NRAO Central Development Laboratory (CDL) is assisting with the development of the Dark Ages Polarimeter Pathfinder (DAPPER), a lunar-orbiting spacecraft concept designed to measure the spectrum of highly-redshifted hydrogen emitted during Cosmic Dawn, the epoch of initial star formation in the evolution of the Universe. The...

DAPPER Mission concept in orbit around Moon

Under a DAPPER Moon: NASA Eyes Wild Radio Science Projects on the Lunar Farside

Dec. 23, 2019

From NASA's quest to return humans to the moon could boost a field of research that might not seem particularly lunar in nature: cosmology. But the far side of the moon could be a powerful place to answer some of the most compelling questions about the universe — and...

China's Chang’e-4 lander and its small rover, Yutu 2

Alien Hunters Need the Far Side of the Moon to Stay Quiet

Nov. 15, 2019

From Wired: China made history earlier this year when its Chang'e-4 lander became the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon. During the two-week lunar days, the lander and its small rover, Yutu 2, beam images and other data to an orbiter for relay back to...

NASA - Far side of the Moon

New Mission To Far Side Of The Moon Explores Origins Of The Universe

Jan. 9, 2019

From Colorado Public Radio - Colorado Matters: Fifty years after U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon, China landed a rover on the far side of the Moon last week for the first time in history. Jack Burns, an astrophysicist at CU Boulder, sees...

Dr. Jack Burns Moon background

CU researcher leads lunar observation project: Satellite will help the study of the universe’s “dark ages”

Oct. 1, 2018

From the Daily Camera: University of Colorado researchers are planning to put a satellite in orbit around the moon to observe what they call the universe’s “dark ages” — an era just 15 million to 30 million years after the Big Bang, before the first stars illuminated the cosmic dawn...

Timeline of the Universe

Dark side of the moon holds clues to early universe

Sept. 25, 2018

From CU Boulder Today: The far side of the moon could give CU Boulder researchers an unprecedented look back at the early “dark ages” of the universe before the first stars had begun to flare into existence. NASA recently picked the Dark Ages Polarimetry Pathfinder (DAPPER) as one of nine...

DAPPER Concept

NASA Astrophysics Eyes Big Science with Small Satellites

Sept. 12, 2018

From NASA: NASA has selected nine proposals to study using small satellites, or SmallSats, for advanced astronomical space-based observations. The proposed SmallSat studies are a fraction of the size, weight, and cost of a typical space-bound astrophysics mission. They cover a mass range from 12 kg to 180 kg. Formation...