[ExI] The Thirty Meter Telescope is now officially dead

Darin Sunley dsunley at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 16:16:53 UTC 2019

The solution, of course, is to acquire ownership of or access to desirable
mountaintop real estate through means other than violently overthrowing the
local government and putting the entire population to work on banana

Given the ridiculously toxic [and surprisingly recent] colonialist toxicity
the US Federal governnent allowed to happen there in it's name, I'm
surprised the locals aren't cutting of more of their noses to spite our

If we can learn one lesson from the last couple of hundred years, it's that
people coming out of colonialist oppression don't always respond
rationallly to their former oppressors, and it's stupid and unreasonable to
expect them to, no matter how much better "our" values, worldview, and
technology are.

People just don't work that way. And anyone who refuses to deal with that
is going to be very confused and very frustrated, all the time.

On Sun, Dec 22, 2019, 3:51 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 21, 2019 at 5:36 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> *> 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,*
> I doubt that that very very very much.
> > *$100M in launch costs, leaving the remaining $100M for development,*
> Launch costs are not the issue! Synthetic aperture is not going to help
> you when it comes to equalling the light gathering power of the thirty
> meter telescope, you're still going to need 707 square meters of PRECISION
> optical surfaces, nobody has ever made a optical array anywhere close to
> that even on the ground much less in space. Synthetic aperture works well
> for radio wavelengths but it's really hard to do for optics, it's been done
> a few times with the 2 Keck telescopes in Hawaii but only with the help of
> many tons of precision equipment and even then it only worked in one
> dimension not 2 needed for a picture. In 2005 money was approved to improve
> things and add 4 much smaller 1.8 meter telescopes that wouldn't have added
> much light gathering power but would have allowed the much improved
> interferometer to resolve Neptune sized planets around nearby stars. The 4
> telescopes were actually built but they never made it to the top of the
> mountain, they were stopped by, you guessed it, Hawaiian protestors, they
> feared the invisible man on the mountain wouldn't like it. The super
> interferometer project officially died in 2012 although it was moribund
> long before that.
> Another problem with a space based system is that all those precise
> optical surfaces are going to have to be flying in orbits far far more
> precise than anything ever flown before, so you can't put them in low earth
> orbit due to atmospheric drag. There is no way you're going to overcome all
> these problems with just 100 million.
>  John K Clark
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