East Hawaii News

Thirty Meter Telescope Project Receives $1.25M Grant

March 21, 2013, 1:22 PM HST
* Updated March 22, 9:08 AM
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Today the National Science Foundation awarded a $1.25 million grant to the Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corporation to explore a potential partnership between the organizations.

The award, broken up into five $250,000 increments, is a milestone for the telescope project, which has faced vocal opposition from native Hawaiian groups on the Big Island.

University and private business leaders have repeatedly fought for construction of the facility. Barring potential legal roadblocks, the partnership plans to initiate building the facility in 2014.

The award allocates $250,000 per year for five years to partnership-planning activities that include scientific workshops and participation by US scientists in the telescope’s Science Advisory Committee and Collaborative Board.

At present, the NSF does not commit to helping fund the construction costs of telescope, although they may participate later on in the construction period.

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The telescope’s development plan calls for it to provide valuable research opportunities for the next 50 years.

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