HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thirty-Meter Telescope officials say they understand it has become a larger issue than just the telescope, but Mauna Kea remains the preferred site for the telescope.
The mountain’s altitude, cold temperatures and clear nights make it a better choice than the Canary Islands.
Officials add the company has been part of the big island community for a decade, and its international partnerships are strong.
“We are encouraged that Mayor Kim has been asked to take a leadership role in figuring out next steps, we know Mayor Kim is both a strong supporter of TMT and astronomy, but he also wants to find a way forward for all of Hawaii,” TMT Vice President of External Relations Gordon Squires said.
“We see that TMT has become a platform for some large issues that have been a challenge for Hawaii for a long time, issues of historical wrongs done for Hawaiians, issues about self-determination and sovereignty, and we are hopeful that this will be a catalyst for something greater coming out of it all.”
Squires say it is important and urgent to begin construction as soon as possible.
So far, 450 million dollars has been invested in the telescope.