[ExI] The Thirty Meter Telescope is now officially dead

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sat Dec 21 22:33:43 UTC 2019

On Sat, Dec 21, 2019 at 2:21 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> This is especially troubling considering that we have stars
> disappearing. We need that telescope for national if not planetary
> security. I also agree with what Adrian Tymes said in another thread
> that we need to start putting observatories everywhere, including the
> dark side of the moon.

Heck, with the team & tools I have available to me (via CubeCab) right
now...the TMT's budget was about $2B to put together, right?  I dare say
that I could put together a thirty meter diameter telescope, in low Earth
orbit (thus, above all the atmospheric distortions), for $200M: a tenth the
budget of the TMT.

(This would be a synthetic aperture array, of 3U CubeSats launched one at a
time and plugging together, getting individual systems checks done on the
first several satellites (with a smaller diameter) before scaling up.  30
cm long per satellite means 100 units for X, 100 units for Y, and more -
probably no more than double - for the antenna & power.  400 units is $100M
in launch costs, leaving the remaining $100M for development,
manufacturing, and other miscellaneous costs.  This would not include
running the array for long, but then, neither did the $2B budget.)

But there doesn't seem to be a way for me to even propose this to the
people who have that budget, let alone for said proposal to have a serious
chance of funding.  Granted, this wouldn't mean spending $2B on Hawaii -
which may be the main disconnect.
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