March 15, 2019 - LSST’s biggest mirror, the 8.4-meter Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3), is officially on its way to Chile! Before dawn this morning, the vehicle carrying the mirror in its storage and transport container departed from the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab in Tucson, AZ. On Tuesday the mirror was loaded into the container using a custom lifting fixture, and on Thursday the container was loaded and secured onto a 108-foot Precision Heavy Haul, Inc. vehicle outside the Mirror Lab in preparation for this morning’s departure. Now, the mirror is on its way to the Port of Houston in Texas, where it will be loaded onto an assigned ship for its five-week ocean voyage to Chile.
The transport vehicle, with its wide and fragile load, will travel slowly on a route designed to minimize traffic disruption. While on a typical road trip it might take two days (driving about eight hours per day) to make the trip from Tucson to Houston, we anticipate that this leg of the journey will take the vehicle carrying the M1M3 approximately 10 days.
Tucker Booth, LSST Telescope and Site Mechanical Engineer, supervised the departure of the M1M3 this morning. As the truck was pulling away from the Mirror Lab, Booth remarked, “A lot of people worked very hard to get to this moment. It’s exciting to have the work in Tucson finished, and to move on to the next phase.”
Read the AURA Press Release here.
Photos of the M1M3 being loaded are available in the LSST Gallery.
- March 2008: M1M3 High Fire event
- December 2009: Front surface work begins
- November 2014: Delivery of M1M3 shipping container to Mirror Lab
- December 2014: Mirror nears completion
- February 2015: M1M3 Milestone Achieved
- February 2015: Mirror lifted into storage container at Mirror Lab
- April 2015: LSST Corporation celebrates mirror completion
- August 2015: Mirror is moved into storage
- October 2015: Mirror Cell contract awarded to CAID Industries in Tucson
- February 2016: Progress update for the Mirror Cell
- August 2017: LSST team checks on the M1M3 in storage
- October 2018: M1M3 Cell moves to the Mirror Lab
- October 2018: M1M3 moves to the Mirror Lab
- October 2018: Mirror lifted onto the Cell
- October 2018: Mirror transport cart completed at CAID
- January 2019: Optical testing of M1M3 at Mirror Lab