Since its completion in January 2015, the LSST M1M3 mirror has been in storage in Tucson awaiting completion of the mirror cell. When the cell is complete, it will be joined to the M1M3 mirror for additional testing at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. The two pieces will ship separately to Chile and then be reunited for the duration of the LSST ten-year survey from Cerro Pachon.
This image shows the continuing progress at CAID Industries on the fabrication and assembly of the mirror cell weldment. Here is the vacuum boundary vessel as viewed from the rear (note the rear access door). It is undergoing helium leak testing of the welded joints to confirm the connections are fused to hold a proper vacuum during mirror coating operations. The mirror cell is scheduled for completion in mid-2016.
Financial support for LSST 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 LSST 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 LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
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