LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., April 16, 1997 -- The dream of placing a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon begins to look feasible, due to an alliance between two educational and scientific groups. The SETI League, Inc., leaders in a privatized Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, and Artemis Society International, an organization devoted to developing a permanent, manned lunar base, have announced their intent to collaborate on this lofty goal. Each of the non-profit educational and scientific organizations will become an Affiliate Society of the other, according to a plan endorsed today by The SETI League's board of trustees.
"Radio Astronomy, the use of sensitive receiving stations to study radio emissions from space, has been severely hampered by Earth's use of technology," explains SETI League executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch. "There are natural and, presumably, artificial signals from the stars, which just cannot penetrate the sphere of electromagnetic pollution surrounding our planet." But the far side of the Moon, being shielded from Earth's interfering radiation, is an ideal location for a radio observatory. "For years we've waited for NASA to get us there," Shuch notes, "but it's just not happening. Perhaps Artemis will succeed where government projects have failed."
"We formed the Artemis Society . . . to provide a forum for everyone to participate and take an active role in the development of space travel," says Gregory Bennett, President of Lunar Resources Company, which backs the non-profit Artemis Society. "I have this hope of being able to carry a good- sized astronomical telescope on the first flight [to the Moon]. There might be a SETI mission objective we could squeeze into the payload allowance." And who better than The SETI League to develop it?
SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
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