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Before dawn on May 19, the completed LSST primary/tertiary mirror (M1M3) was safely moved from the UA’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (formerly Steward Observatory Mirror Lab) to long-term secure storage at Tucson International Airport. Contractor Precision Heavy Haul executed the eight-mile, three-hour move under the supervision of LSST technical and safety personnel. The mirror move is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from the LSST technical team, the mirror lab, and generous support from the LSST Corporation and private donors. Local coverage of the event in the Tucson newspaper includes images and a short video.
The move took place in the wee hours because the 30-foot wide, 14-foot tall metal crate was too big to travel the roads during the day. The previous day, Precision Heavy Haul had secured the 56-ton combined load of the mirror in its custom-built shipping container onto a specially designed flatbed trailer-truck. The shipping container was built by CAID Industries. At the storage location, the crate was opened and the mirror inspected before being resealed to await eventual transportation to Cerro Pachón in Chile. In the photo, the flatbed carrying M1M3 backs into the hangar where the mirror will be stored.
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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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