2019 in Review

2019 was an action-packed year for the LSST Project, with new milestones reached and more equipment arriving at the LSST summit facility on Cerro Pachón from all around the world. Here’s a review of some of the accomplishments LSST celebrated during the last twelve months: 

Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3) Arrives on Cerro Pachón

Dr. Amanda Bauer Appointed Interim Deputy Director for LSST Operations

Dear Colleagues:

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Amanda Bauer has agreed to take on the role of Interim Deputy Director for LSST Operations, effective immediately.

Amanda has been Head of Education and Public Outreach (EPO) for the LSST Construction project since 2017. As a member of the LSST management team she has demonstrated leadership, ability to organize and build teams, and deliver on project milestones. This fiscal year she will help to support (among other things) the key activity of delivering a successful LSST full survey operations proposal (to be submitted to a joint agency review in April, 2020).

Amanda is committing 25% of her time to this new role while maintaining her focus on the LSST EPO Project effort.

Ruler of the Cranes

November 26, 2019 - Earlier this month, three cranes curved around and over the dome of the LSST observatory on Cerro Pachón, creating a scene that looked like a battle in a sci-fi fantasy movie. The largest of these cranes—a Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 mobile crane to be exact—is a brand new arrival to the summit. This huge crane has a capacity of 500 metric tons (500T) and when extended it can easily reach twice the height of the LSST Dome!

Dome Successfully Rotates Under Power

LSST Data Rights

Earlier this year a new funding model for LSST operations was announced. Since then the team has been working hard to flesh out the details of the model. Part of that work was to set up a process to get proposals from current International Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) holders. We're please to announce that this process is now being kicked off!


October 31, 2019

Invitation to current MOA holders and interested groups

November 22, 2019

NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory Launched

October 1, 2019 - The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) are proud to announce the launch of integrated operations of all of NSF’s nighttime astronomical facilities under NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. LSST Operations is one of the five facilities included in this new organization.

The TMA Arrives at the Summit

September 24, 2019 - The LSST Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), which was built in Spain and shipped to Chile in August, 2019, has now successfully reached the summit. The enormous structure was disassembled into 26 pieces for transport, and each piece was wrapped in sturdy vinyl to protect it during shipping. The ship carrying the TMA cargo arrived in Coquimbo on September 7th and unloading began the same day—some pieces were placed on the dock, and a few were loaded directly onto the transport vehicles that would carry them to Cerro Pachón.

LSST 2019 Concludes in Tucson

August 26, 2019 - More than 300 participants attended this year's LSST Project and Community Workshop, an annual meeting that brings together LSST Project staff, affiliates, and members of the science community to celebrate successes, report progress, and discuss upcoming challenges. This year’s meeting, held August 12-16 at the Hilton El Conquistador resort in Tucson, AZ, also offered ample opportunities for participants to interact outside of formal sessions, with early-morning soccer matches and board game nights bookending each day of the meeting.

The TMA Sails for Chile

August 20, 2019 - The LSST Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), one of the last large components of the telescope to be shipped to Chile this year (the LSST Camera will be shipped in 2020), set sail from Spain at the end of July aboard a vessel named Lisa Auerbach.

ComCam Activities in Tucson

August 9, 2019 - Earlier this summer, the LSST Project Office received a special delivery from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory: the commissioning camera for the full LSST Camera. This “miniature” 144-megapixel camera, referred to as ComCam, will be used to test the different systems that will eventually interact with the full 3200-megapixel LSST Camera, allowing LSST engineers and scientists to troubleshoot issues in advance of the full LSST Camera integration. ComCam will also produce valuable scientific preview data that will help the LSST Science Community as it prepares to do science with the much larger LSST data set during Operations.


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).
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 LSST in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.

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