The unique LSST M1/M3 mirror surfaces are nearing perfection. Both mirror surfaces are being carefully polished and optically tested with completion anticipated by the end of December 2013. Testing has transitioned from the realm of mechanical measurement to optical measurement as the remaining deviations from the mirror’s perfect smooth shape are now on the scale of nanometers instead of microns. (For reference, a human hair is ~50 microns. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, the size of a virus or wavelength of optical light.) After completion, the polished M1/M3 will be stored in Tucson until the telescope cell has been fabricated to enable final integrated testing before shipment to the summit in Chile. CAID Industries in Tucson is completing fabrication of a specialized storage/transport container for safe and secure transport of M1/M3. The outer frame and cover of the 9-meter x 9-meter metal box is shown on the right.
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 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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