Letters of Intent received in 2019

LoI 2021-2084
Astronomy from the Moon

Date: 18 August 2021 to 20 August 2021
Location: Busan, Korea, Rep of
Contact: Claudio Maccone (clmaccon@libero.it)
Coordinating division: Division F Planetary Systems and Astrobiology
Other divisions: Division A Fundamental Astronomy
Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
Chair of SOC: Claudio --- Maccone (INAF)
Chair of LOC: Gonzalo Tancredi (Dpto. Astronomia - Inst. Fisica - MONTEVIDEO)



Creating a legally protected area at the center of the Moon Farside, specifically inside Crater Daedalus.
This area would be devoted only to Astronomical Research by creating an Observatory operating in both optical and radio frequencies.
Crater Daedalus at the Moon Farside Centre is the most SHIELDED area from man-made radio pollution coming from the Earth. However some frequencies in X and Ka bands are already polluted by the Chinese Queqiao Relay Satellite hovering about 65,000 km above the Farside and along the Earth-Moon axis (Lagrangian point L2 ofthe Earth-Moon system).
So, it is URGENT to prevent more pollution by future space missions reaching the Farside or just in orbit around the Moon.



The Moon Farside is the only place in space, and not too far from the Earth, where radio transmissions and noises produced by Humanity on Earth may not reach since the spherical body of the Moon blocks them, acting like a shield. Thus, protecting the Moon Farside from all kinds of non-scientific future exploitations (e.g. real estate, tourists, industry and military) has long been a concern for many far-sighted space scientists as well as for several IAA Academicians. We started facing this problem in the 1990s, when the French radio astronomer Jean Heidmann of the Paris Meudon Observatory firstly promoted an IAA Cosmic Study about which areas of the Moon Farside should be reserved for scientific uses only. But Heidmann passed away on July 2, 2000, and this author took over his IAA Cosmic study, so that a paper describing both the scientific and legal aspects of the problem was published in 2008. For then more years “nothing happened”, but the years 2018-2019 saw China setting up a relay satellite (Queqiao) at the Lagrangian point L2 hovering about 60,000 km above the Moon Farside. Unfortunately, the undeclared but quite real “current, new race to the Moon” complicates matters terribly. All the space–faring nations now keep their eyes on the Moon, and only the United Nations might have a sufficient authority to Protect the Farside and keep safe its unique “radio-noise free” environment. But time is money, and the “Moon Settlers” may well reach the Moon before the United Nations come to agree about any official decision concerning the Farside Protection. Quite an URGENT ISSUE.
In this letter of intent, we propose that the new “Moon Village” supported by the vision of the ESA Director General, Jan Woerner, be located OUTSIDE the PAC (Protected Antipode Circle) obviously not to interfere with the detection of radiation coming from space, but also SOUTH OF THE PAC, to be “close” to the South Pole as much as needed to benefit of water there. It thus appears the best venue for the “Moon Village” would be on or around the 180 degree meridian and south to the -30 degree in latitude of the PAC, possibly much more south of that, almost at the South Pole, thus resolving Moon Village VENUE ISSUE.