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Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project  |

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project 

Context

∙ An Indian delegation visited Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA and discussed challenges in the progress of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project and ways to overcome them.

About

∙ The project has faced considerable challenges. The upcoming projects have invited local opposition on the grounds that building telescopes violates religious and cultural customs.

∙ Alternate site: There are plans to construct the TMT at an alternate site, on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands, which is seen as the next best choice.

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project

∙ The TMT has been conceived as a 30-metre diameter primary-mirror optical and infrared telescope that will enable observations into deep space.

∙ It is proposed as a joint collaboration involving institutions in the US, Japan, China, Canada, and India.

∙ Indian participation in the project was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2014.

Indian contribution

∙ India expects to be a major contributor to the project and will provide 

∙ hardware (segment support assemblies, actuators, edge sensors, segment polishing, and segment coating), instrumentation (first light instruments), and software (observatory software and telescope control systems) worth $200 million.

∙ Of the 492 precisely polished mirrors that the telescope needs, India will contribute 83.

∙ The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIAP) is leading the consortium of Indian institutions that are involved with the TMT project.

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