The United States Department of Energy has just reached another milestone in the planned production of the world’s most powerful camera, receiving “Critical Decision 2” approval to proceed with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) – a 3,200-megapixel behemoth which weighs in at more than 3 tons.
A camera the size of a small Volkswagen…
To be perched atop a mountain called Cerro Pachón in Chile, the LSST is planned to take the equivalent of 800,000 images of the night’s sky, collecting nearly 15-terabytes of information per day, revealing new discoveries in our own solar system and beyond.
According to LSST Director Steven Kahn: “This important decision endorses the camera fabrication budget that we proposed. Together with the construction funding we received from the National Science Foundation in August, it is now clear that LSST will have the support it needs to be completed on schedule.”
If all continues as planned, LSST science operations could begin as early as 2022.