Commercial Lunar Science & Communications Takes the Next Step

IOLA Observatory on the Moon. Credits: ILOA

[ILOA Press Release - 01.07.2014]
The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), based in Hawaii, is announcing its partnership with Toronto-based Canadensys Aerospace Corporation to develop the payload for its International Lunar Observatory mission (ILO-1) to the Moon’s South Pole later this decade.

Comprising both a combined radio astronomy / communications payload and an optical telescope, ILO-1 will conduct Galaxy First Light Imaging, and establish radio and optical astronomy capacity on the lunar surface, together with commercial communications infrastructure in support of the steadily increasing international government and commercial enterprise interests in the lunar South Pole. Education and citizen science complete the core mission objectives, and ILO-1 will deliver a number of world-firsts in broadened mission access and participation across public and education sectors.

ILO-1 is the third and flagship mission in ILOA’s program of missions to the lunar surface which already has seen one instrument successfully returning UV data from the Moon in 2014 and a second, precursor instrument, ILO-X, to be delivered to the lunar equatorial region late in 2015. ILO-1 is the first planned ILO mission to the lunar polar region. Canadensys and ILOA are working in coordination with partners across multiple upcoming international missions to ensure optimum return from combined efforts at and around the lunar poles.

Canadensys will serve as prime contractor to ILOA for development of the ILO-1 main observation and communications payload, building on collaborations tracing back almost a decade. Canadensys, ILOA and commercial affiliate Space Age Publishing Company are cooperating on education and public participation components of the ILO-1 instrument in coordination with the Galaxy Forum initiative which has held more than 50 international space-themed 21st Century education forums around the world over the past 6 years.

Canadensys is under contract to ILOA, with 2014 activities focused on refinement of the ILO-1 instrument design and program definition in light of recent international lunar mission developments, and coordination between mission partners and other stakeholders for the ILO-1 mission.

“The ILO will pioneer the next frontier of Astronomy, demonstrating the value of the Moon for scientific study of space not only beyond Earth orbit but further into our Solar System and the Galaxy beyond,” said Steve Durst, Founder and Director of the ILOA and Space Age Publishing Company. “We are a global consortium of scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and visionaries who seek to establish a scientific presence on the Moon followed by human exploration and eventual settlement. In the near term such initiatives unite and inspire while making tangible advancements in science and technology, while in the longer term it actually raises meaningful discussion about human existence as a multi-world species”.

“We are excited to be moving forward on the development of the ILO-1 main observatory instrument with ILOA,” said Christian Sallaberger, CEO & President of Canadensys Aerospace Corporation and ILOA Board Member. “Canadensys is dedicated to improving access to space and space-based services and, for lunar exploration, ILO-1 embodies this in many ways – from the potential for global cooperation to the truly unique opportunity in citizen science and education. These are exciting times for both lunar exploration and commercial space enterprise and Canadensys is proud to be supporting ILOA in bringing their pioneering vision to reality”.

The International Lunar Observatory program, led by ILOA, comprises a series of 4 missions to the lunar surface, from the LUT instrument aboard Chang’e-3, currently operating on the Moon since 2013; a precursor telescope instrument, ILO-X, to be delivered to the Moon late next year; the ILO-1 robotic long-duration observatory and communications mission to the lunar South Pole; and a human service mission planned for around 2020.


ILOA is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to expand human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon and to participate in internationally cooperative lunar base build-out, with Aloha – the spirit of Hawai`i. The ILOA co-sponsors with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums to advance 21st Century Education. Galaxy Forums, designed to provide greater global awareness, capabilities and action in Galaxy science, exploration and enterprise, are held in Hawaii, Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Africa, Chile, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Kansas and New York. Current plans are for expansion to Antarctica and beyond. For more information visit or contact: ILOA Executive Committee 808-885-3474.


Canadensys Aerospace Corporation (Canadensys) is a space systems and services company based in Toronto, Ontario with a focus on accessible space. The company is founded on heritage and expertise from 3 decades of international flight programs spanning large and small space, combined with modern, commercially focused models for effective space program and mission development.