My own concept of a telescope that is far more effective than Hubble has us first establishing two communication satellites at L5 and L2 and then tackling a semi-autonomous command and control system between them that runs the manufacture of an array of movable mirrors that can then be individually adjusted and attuned to the movements of the moon and the receptors at L2. As we add to the array of mirrors, our receptors at L2 get an increasingly better image of distant objects and can be adapted to a variety of frequencies. We can even slave an attached system to seek low or high frequency phenomena. Multiple arrays of various antennae might someday dot the desolate side of the far side and their data be focused, received and coordinated at L2, whereupon it would flow back through L5 to the Earth.
The Earth-Moon system rotates once a month and the back side of the Moon (no more “dark” than our side) always faces away from Earth and is shielded from all of Earths electromagnetic activity. So rather than once a day, this system would be able to scan the heavens once a month and would also be shielded from the Sun half the time, allowing it both stability and permanent isolation. This makes for more accurate and detailed information and might be a more useful use of our aggressive tendencies, technological prowess, and need for profit.
One interesting side effect of the age of science is knowing things and allowing curiosity far more leeway than was given us during the age of religion, nationalism and violence. Of course, there is massive pressure to continue the age of religion, nationalism and violence, but there is progress and I can always hope we’ll give wisdom, curiosity and tolerance more leeway as we explore not only our world but the vast heavens we once thought were gods and unapproachable.
Maybe, if we give our avid curiosity more rein, we can replace the fear and anxiety we’re feeling as we buy our children and grandchildren Kevlar shields to put in their backpacks. I continue to hope (and pray) for a resurgence of curiosity and awe at the new worlds and exciting views we’re getting of not only our own territory but the incredibly enormous, impossibly old, and magnificently varied universe…
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