Astronomers Demand Radio Silence at the Moon’s Far Side, But Resistance May Be Futile

In the modern era of spaceflight, the Moon is the place to be. Space agencies around the world and private companies are rushing to the surface of the moon, hoping for a permanent installation on the earth’s natural satellite that will allow them to reach the far reaches of the sky. All of the increasing activity on the Moon could affect the unique radio stability on the far side of the moon, a perfect place for telescopes to pick up faint signals from the past.

This week, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) held its first Moon Farside Protection Symposium in Italy to promote radio stability on the far side of the Moon. The symposium hopes to raise awareness of the threat facing the far side of the Moon and to develop measures to prevent it from being released by artificial radios.

It’s a good cause, but the distant quiet days are drawing near, whether scientists like it or not. We are entering a phase where continuous communication with our lunar assets – including astronauts – has become essential.

Quiet place

The far side of the Moon always faces away from Earth, so it is shielded from terrestrial radio, or man-made frequencies. This makes it an ideal location for a radio telescope, as it is so close to Earth that it is not frequently screened by terrestrial interference that weakens telescopes on or around the Earth.

NASA has shown interest in exploiting the moon’s radio silence, deploying the world’s longest radio telescope inside the Moon’s central crater. The Lunar Crater Radio Telescope is designed to observe the universe at 30 megahertz, which is not known to humans because the signals are reflected by the Earth’s ionosphere, according to NASA.

During those low orbits, lunar telescopes can detect near-Earth objects approaching our planet before other observatories, can search for signs of alien civilizations, and study organic molecules in space.

“This symposium is designed to inform and openly involve the international scientific community, politicians, and industry on the need to maintain radio silence on the Farside in the context of science,” the IAA wrote in its statement. The goal is to prevent future missions from disrupting the radio silence.”

Bring on the noise

As more and more missions make their way to the Moon, however, the perfect tranquility is disrupted.

Earlier this week, for example, China he started a communication satellite between missions on Earth and missions to the far side of the Moon. The satellite, Queqiao-2, is the first in a constellation that China hopes to use by 2040 to communicate with it. future mission on the Moon and Mars.

Similar story: CAPSTONE Becomes First Explorer to Enter the Special Halo Path Around the Moon

As part of its Artemis program, NASA wants to create Lunar Gateway, a space station designed to orbit the Moon to support future missions to the surface of the moon and Mars. Prior to this, NASA-sponsored cubesats, called CAPSTONE, entered a special halo approach to demonstrate the stability and effectiveness of this approach for future lunar missions; cubesat is paving the way for long-term lunar exploration and, more importantly, communication. Indeed, CAPSTONE is the beginning of something big—establishing a permanent connection between Earth and lunar objects, and ensuring a seamless flow of data.

NASA and their Chinese partners have said so parallel plans for lunar explorationand the Moon is currently a ‘free for all’ with no set rules about who can be our dust partner.

In other words, things are about to get as loud as the radio broadcasts. Astronomers are understandably worried, fearing that this could affect the future of space, and suggesting that it may be time to introduce laws to protect the Moon and other space objects. This may or may not be possible, and it certainly won’t be easy.

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