Friday | April 17, 2015
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TMT site preparation to begin on Mauna Kea

A site dedication ceremony for the Thirty Meter Telescope will be held in October, the TMT International Observatory Board of Directors confirmed today.

The announcement came following a decision by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to dismiss the remaining contested case hearing requests for its sublease. That move allows construction to begin.

As a result, the TMT board approved the initial construction phase “with activities near the summit of Mauna Kea scheduled to start later this year,” the statement said.

The announcement didn’t mention specific dates but noted initial “construction activities in Hawaii will include grading the site in preparation for future building work, enabling a site dedication ceremony in October.”

No specific dates were announced.

Major construction would likely have to wait until early next year to avoid wintry weather on the mountain, a spokeswoman for the $1.3 billion project recently said.

Equipment manufacturing for the state-of-the-art telescope has been ongoing in partner countries, the board said. Final design work is also in progress.

The telescope is expected to be operational in 2022.

TIO founding members include Caltech, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Science, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan and the University of California. India and Canada are both “associates” of the project but expected to become full members, the board said.

To view the announcement, visit


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