Mega Science Projects & Facilities
Our view of the universe was largely constrained to the unaided vision of our eyes before Galileo Galilei first adapted a telescope to look at the skies over four hundred years ago. Telescopes built till today have led to many fascinating and intriguing discoveries in astronomy, like the discovery of planets around other stars, evidence of accelerating expansion of the universe, existence of dark matter and dark energy, monitoring of asteroids/comets that could pose a serious threat to the inhabitants of the Earth. To maintain this exciting pace of discovery, astronomers and engineers are pushing the boundaries of today’s technology while simultaneously creating the innovations that will make the upcoming Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) one of the world’s most advanced and capable ground-based optical and infrared observatory. TMT is an international project which aims at building a 30-metre diameter telescope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA at an estimated cost of 1.47 billion USD (Base year 2012 USD) involving an international consortium of scientific organizations and institutions in Canada, China, India, Japan and USA. India is a Founder-Member country for this project at about 10% level. India’s in-kind contributions towards the project include Hardware (Segment Support Assemblies, Actuators, Edge Sensors, Segment Polishing and Segment Coating), Instrumentation (First Light Instruments) and Software (Observatory Software and Telescope Control Systems).