Published: March 1, 2021 By

Artist's depiction of a robot laying out an antenna on the lunar surface. (Credit- Lunar Resources)From CU Boulder TodayLunar Resources, Inc., of Houston, Texas, and the University of Colorado Boulder are launching a new research effort to lay the groundwork for a one-of-a-kind lunar radio astronomy observatory—a network of hundreds of miles of antennas constructed on the far side of the moon using materials harvested from the lunar surface itself.

NASA recently awarded the team a $125,000 grant to complete a nine-month study on the project, called the Lunar Farside Radio Observatory, or FarView. The funding is part of the 2021 Phase I NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. The program is highly competitive with less than 5% of proposals selected for an award.

The NIAC program selects novel concepts to transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs—such as radically better or entirely new aerospace concepts—while engaging America's innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey. Jack Burns, a professor in the departments of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Physics at CU Boulder, developed the concept for the unprecedented observatory. Read more...