Big Island group looks to put telescope on the moon

Published: Nov. 17, 2015 at 10:18 AM HST
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HILO, Hawaii (AP) - While debate continues to surround whether one of the world's largest telescopes should be built on Mauna Kea, a Big Island organization is working to land a 2-meter telescope on the moon.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the Waimea-based International Lunar Observatory Association is raising money to get the telescope on the moon's Malapert mountain. Data collected from the 2-meter telescope would be transmitted back to Hawaii for astronomers and students to study.

The total project budget is more than $150 million, but the organization is looking for a joint venture partner.

In the meantime, ILOA founder and director Steve Durst says the organization is collaborating with Google Lunar XPRIZE participant Moon Express on a "precursor mission." The two groups plan to take a 3-inch telescope to the moon in 2017.

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