The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on Rubin Observatory construction activities. As a preventative measure, construction activities on Cerro Pachón were shut down on Friday, March 20th and the site was secured as safely as possible, given the incomplete condition of the facility. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory also closed, and work on the Camera has ceased.
All Rubin Observatory staff are now teleworking, and progress is being made in software development and a number of other areas. When safety permits, staff will be able to return to the summit and construction will ramp up as quickly as is feasible. Project leadership will work with our funding agencies, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), to evaluate the impact on the construction timeline.
Answers to frequently asked questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Rubin Observatory, as well as the latest updates to this evolving situation, are available here.
Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.
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