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LSST M2 Substrate Complete

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Corning has successfully completed and delivered the LSST 3.5-meter diameter M2 ULE™ substrate. The 100-mm thick meniscus blank met all dimensional requirements with a convex contour generated within 40 microns of final mirror figure. The acid etched rear and edge surfaces are ready for axial and lateral pad bonding. The blank was completed two months ahead of schedule and has been successfully transported to storage where it awaits additional funding for optical polishing. On a crisp, sunny November morning, the 31,000 pound LSST M2 container rolled out of the Corning Canton, NY, facility and began its journey to MA via air ride trailer. The 13-foot wide load successfully negotiated the narrow rural roads and occasional Amish horse buggy on its way through VT and into Cambridge, MA. Harvard University, an LSST partner institution, is providing storage in a facility equipped with a 40-ton gantry crane, sufficient for off-loading the precious cargo, and a generous 14-foot wide receiving ramp (just right for the 13-foot wide container). After substantial time aligning with the ramp, our ace driver retreated down the ramp until it was positioned under the crane. The crane then successfully hoisted the container off the flatbed and positioned our piece in the lab. Now it will sit while additional funding is sought to enable polishing and completion of the final LSST secondary mirror. 

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Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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