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Carnegie joins Australia and Korea in commitment to GMT construction

At its annual May meeting, the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution for Science enthusiastically endorsed the Giant Magellan Telescope Project and committed funding for its 10% share of the project. Carnegie joins Korea and Australia as Founders who have committed to full funding of their shares.

More than 35% of the total funding required to construct the GMT has been committed. This will allow the project to complete the design phase of the project and to continue development of the primary mirror segments and other critical technologies. The GMT Founders are making great progress towards securing the remaining funds needed to fully support construction and commissioning.

The Carnegie board authorized President Richard A. Meserve to state the institution’s commitment of $59.2 million for the design, construction, and commissioning of the telescope to supplement the $19.9 million that Carnegie has already committed to the project. “This move by the Carnegie board is historic for the future of astronomy,” stated President Meserve. “This telescope is building on a 100-year history of telescope construction at the institution. It will be based on the technology developed for the highly successful 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes in Las Campanas. The GMT promises to contribute significantly to our understanding of the universe.”

GMTO Board Chair Wendy Freedman said, “This is a pivotal step toward the successful completion of this challenging and exciting project. The enormous collective scientific and technical talent in the GMT consortium will allow us to push back the frontiers of astronomy and enable future discoveries. I am delighted at this historic milestone.”

The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) is a not-for-profit organization founded to design, build and operate the Giant Magellan Telescope on behalf of an international partnership that includes Astronomy Australia Ltd., Australian National University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the Smithsonian Institution, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago. The GMTO is headquartered in Pasadena, California, USA, and the Giant Magellan Telescope will be located at Las Campanas, Chile. For more information, visit www.gmto.org.