Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Funding decision on UA giant telescope delayed until 2020s

The University of Arizona is part of a university consortium competing to build the next generation telescope, a huge, $1 billion+ 28-meter diameter Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile [right, artists concept of the GMT]. But Science Insider reports that the National Science Foundation, which had been expected to provide most of the funding, has issued a solicitation that says major funding won't be available until the 2020s.

The UA team has competed against a University of California team plan for the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, for seven years. Under new requirements from Congress, NSF will fund only $1.25 million over 5 years for planning purposes, in the event that funding is made available a decade from now or later.

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