Giant Telescopes Construction involving $1.4 bn put on Halt by Hawaii Supreme Court

Published Date : Nov 20, 2015

Hawaii’s thirty meter telescope, worth $1.4 bn is not being constructed further as per the orders by the Supreme Court of Hawaii on Tuesday that have blocked crews from carrying on work on this telescope. For over a year, Native Hawaiians and environmentalists were successful in making the building of TMT, which is amongst the world’s biggest telescopes and have experienced a series of coordinated protests.  Law enforcement and protestors had prepared for another standoff during this week. 

There was an argument that the construction of this telescope will harm the area where it is being constructed. This is why the construction permit of the TMT International Observatory team was suspended by the court till December 2, till any other further orders by the court. The construction was put to a halt by the similar group that has challenged the state’s permits for issuance for this project.  A dormant volcano on the big island of Hawaii is considered as sacred within the native culture of Hawaii and the opponents have argued that the telescope will be desecrate this space and will cause environmental damage to this mountain. 

Another standoff was also recently issued by Hawaii’s government official, David Ige, and he stresses his commitment to present safe access and uphold law for the summit of the mountain inclusive of those working within the TMT project. TMT will be sending a small crew comprising local workers to the project site on November 10 for starting repairs and maintaining equipment.  TMT will be enabling astronomers to study galaxies formed at the edge of the universe, as per the website of TMT. Henry Yang, the chairman of the TMT International Observatory Board of Governors stated in a statement that they are committed towards the mountain’ stewardship and also to the vision that has integrated culture and science in Hawaii along with enriching the educational possibilities as well as local economy.