NASA to study radio signals from far side of the moon

NASA wants to listen in on radio signals from the far side of the moon, which never faces us here on Earth.

Far side of the moon.
Far side of the moon.

Unless you are one of the six surviving members of the Apollo mission, there is a side of the moon you have never seen in person. 

As the moon remains tide-locked with Earth, one side of the moon is always facing away from the Earth. Because of this, NASA plans to send a spacecraft to the far side of the moon to monitor for radio observations. 

NASA is sending a spacecraft there because the moon’s mass can block radio signals from Earth from interfering with the craft’s observations. 

These observations will take place during the 14-day-long moon night. A day on the moon is about one Earth month long, meaning one part of the moon spends two weeks in daylight and two weeks in darkness. 

NASA will need to send multiple payloads to the moon for the mission. On Tuesday, the agency announced it has chosen Firefly Aerospace to help it deliver the payload. 

NASA monitoring possible Earth-bound asteroid for 2046
NASA monitoring possible Earth-bound asteroid for 2046

NASA monitoring possible Earth-bound asteroid for 2046

The small asteroid is more likely than not to miss the Earth, but its impact would be comparable to a notable 1908 event.


Two of the payloads will land on the far side of the moon. A third payload will provide orbiting communications satellites that will relay data back to Earth. 

NASA said it needs a radio-quiet zone to make low-frequency astrophysics measurements of deep space. It is hoping to pick up on signals on how galaxies formed after the Big Bang some 13 billions years ago. 

“NASA continues to look at ways to learn more about our universe,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Going to the lunar far side will help scientists understand some of the fundamental physics processes that occurred during the early evolution of the universe.”