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World's Largest Telescope Could Be Set Up In Ladakh

The Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) International Observatory, which the largest telescope project in the world of cost around 1.47-billion dollar, may be set up in India, according to a report. The report further states that the TMT board had first choice of Mauna Kea, Hawaii but they were facing major hurdles there. So, they has to short-list Hanle in Ladakh as a prospective site for the project. According to the report, an international team will visit Ladakh soon.
The Supreme Court of Hawaii had cancelled the permit issued to TMT on December 2015 to construct the International Observatory. It was claimed that the plot in Mauna Kea was sacred. As the Hawaiian authorities work towards re-issual of permit, the TMT Board is looking for alternatives to avoid delay. "Given the enormous investment and potential challenges ahead, it is necessary to also carry out a review of alternate sites," Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board, said in a statement after a meeting on February 11, 2016.

India is contributing to the software of TMT, building edge sensors, actuators and system support assemblies. TMT India programme director B Eswar Reddy told that the board has decided on two prospective sites – Hanle and Chile after the February meeting. It is expected that India will invest $212 million in the project.

"However, a lot of technical works (including in India) are progressing well in the partner countries. We expect all the systems to be ready and technical risks retired by the time we resolve the issue of site... In India too, industries are working on prototype development and some are qualified for production and some are still working on," Reddy was quoted as saying.
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