Spring is the season of new beginnings, and it’s no exception around the LSST Project. Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates have given a spectacular boost to the private fund raising efforts of LSST Corporation with their $1M Challenge Match, a fresh start to the important mission of Enabling Science. Completion of the LSST M1M3 substrate was celebrated in January at the UA Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The polished mirror has since been relocated to a shipping container for a short journey to a storage facility where it will await a mirror cell and final transport to Chile in a couple years. Control of the Cerro Pachón summit has been transferred to the Summit Facility Contractor as the pace of construction accelerates. The final sculpting of the site and the forthcoming facility construction are viewable in real time from two webcams linked from the gallery. The baseline for fabrication of the LSST Camera has achieved a significant milestone, with “Critical Decision 2” approval from the DOE. Other camera developments include the successful demonstration of the final sensors and electronics in a test camera at Brookhaven National Lab and a successful subscale refrigeration system test at SLAC.
The distributed LSST project plans to come together again this year for its annual Project and Community Workshop the week of August 17th in Bremerton, WA. This is an open meeting; details will be posted as they become known at the meeting web page. Project-focused meetings early in the week will be followed by a Cadence workshop at the end of the week. These two aspects of the meeting will run sequentially this year, not in parallel, in an attempt to avoid scheduling conflicts as much as possible. The Project Staff continues to increase and the LSST 2015 workshop will be another great opportunity to bring the team and science community together.
On April 14, 2015, LSST marked a major milestone, with the traditional First Stone (Primera Piedra) ceremony on Cerro Pachón, Chile. Laying of the first stone is a Chilean tradition marking the construction start for a new astronomical observatory. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Michael A. Hammer, NSF Director France Córdova, and Charles Simonyi were among the dignitaries present to mark this start of summit construction. All these activities remind us that the construction start is real and the ten years of design and development that brought us to this point are about to bear fruit. Spring has indeed brought a new beginning to the LSST.
Suzanne Jacoby (Editor-in-Chief)
Robert McKercher (Staff Writer)
Mark Newhouse (Design & Production: Web)
Emily Acosta (Design & Production: PDF/Print)
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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).
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