Why the Moon?
There is precious little we know about our closest celestial neighbor. We have much to learn. MoonWatcher wants to explore and find answers to the many fascinating opportunities the Moon holds for mankind. It is not just Moon’s minerals that are needed here on Earth. If we want to explore our galaxy and beyond, the first step is getting to the Moon. There is a great deal of talk about expeditions to Mars, but to get there, our spaceships will need to refuel using the Moon’s water from its solar ice caps.
MoonWatcher will be there with you to capture all the excitement of each discovery as we continue this grand adventure.
What would be next step to satisfying our curiosity about the Moon?
Continual reconnaissance of the Moon with best view and exposure to the Moon to identify events of meaning and understanding.
What would be the benefit of going to the Moon?
As we push beyond our terrestrial bounds to other worlds we would increase our success in surviving in new environment as well as open our imagination to new ideas that help solve problems here on Earth as well.
What is the MoonWatcher Mission about?
MoonWatcher is satellite with a camera to transmit stream of video of the Moon. Our satellite is built on the 3U CubeSat standard that specifies the size and dimensions.
MoonWatcher will be in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and will have several satellites orbiting for continual line of sight functionality. In the near future MoonWatcher will also have satellites in Lunar Orbit for even closer imaging of the Lunar surface.
What will I see with MoonWatcher fleet of satellites?
The living Moon
Impacts – the Moon is hit by meteorites constantly and these impacts (both big and small) do effect the Moon in many ways – we will be watching and analyzing these changes
Surface changes – Not only impacts but subsurface events affect the surface and its structures (lava tubes, tremors, Earth’s gravity, and of course impacts)
Lunar Day/Night cycles (28 days) – Want to see the most valuable property in the Solar System and what is being done to utilize its resources… so do we!
The Human Journey
3 different space agencies have plans to setup human occupied Lunar Villages. A handful of companies are racing to win the Lunar X-prize and their mission will be heading to Moon soon. This new global space race to Moon will be watched by MoonWatcher and put you in the front row.
The Mystery of Space
We don’t know what we will see because this is the first mission of this complexity and duration for a global population – you never know what will show up in a video feed
What will I learn from the MoonWatcher mission?
You will learn that the Moon is still bombarded from time to time with meteors which creates a fascinating light show (if you’re watching), that in the southern pole there are areas that always have sun light and dark patches
Doesn’t this already exist?
Surprisingly – no! We looked and looked but didn’t find this type of solution. This is why we are so motivated to bring this solution to the global audience that wants to see the Moon in new ways.
Can’t we see the Moon with a telescope – why go to MoonWatcher?
This is how it’s been done for centuries but there are 2 good reason to use MoonWatcher instead of a telescope; 1) Telescopes are expensive and 2) you won’t always have clear skies to see the Moon when you want.
Additionally – should you have missed your window to see the Moon there is no place to go after the fact to see it again.
How long do these satellites last?
MoonWatcher is built on the CubeSat standard and not intended to operate for more than 24 months each. The strategy of the MoonWatcher fleet is maintain a permanent presence in both LEO and Lunar Orbits – but to continually upgrade the CubeSat fleets with improvements to the design and payloads are made.
MoonWatcher is currently planned to be placed into a sun synchronous “dawn-dusk” orbit. This means that it will always be orbiting along the division between night and day. Having constant exposure to some sunlight will allow its solar panels to receive a consistent source of energy.
The primary value of MoonWatcher is the fact that it is not affected by atmospheric diffraction. With even the best earth-bound amateur telescopes, received light is diffracted by the atmosphere, resulting in an effect known as “seeing” (example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_seeing#/media/File:Seeing_Moon.gif). The smallest details able to be recorded will be approximately 2km with no seeing effects (about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye).
We have partners that are deploying new types of communication arrays in space and we will use this arrays much like your mobile uses 3rd party communication arrays here on Earth.