The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVIII, Issue 9
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
October 25 , 2002

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




Telescope project gains $10m

by Barbara Pitoniak, News Office staff


he University has been allocated $10 million for construction of the Large Millimeter Telescope in the final fiscal year 2003 Defense Appropriations bill. Congressman John Olver (D-Mass.) was instrumental in securing the funding in the final version of the bill.

     The full $10 million was included in the House bill, but the Senate proposal included only $3 million. The funding becomes available as soon as President George W. Bush signs the final bill into law.

     "The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) project will be capable of vastly extending our knowledge of the universe," Olver said. "The $10 million earmark I have secured in the final Defense Appropriations bill represents the full federal portion of funding for the project. I commend the UMass researchers who have been working on this innovative, international project, and I'm pleased that we were able to secure such a large amount of federal funding for the project."

     Chancellor John V. Lombardi said, "We're extremely grateful for the leadership of John Olver in harnessing the legislative support necessary to secure the funding for this important project. We also want to acknowledge senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, as well as Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, for their key support of this project.

     "The ability to deliver on the science and the support for this extraordinary scientific collaboration is a tribute to all who have been involved in the project to date."

     The $90-million LMT project is a cooperative effort between UMass Amherst and Mexico's National Institute of Astronomy, Optics and Electronics. When completed in 2004, the LMT will be the world's largest, most sensitive radio telescope.

     "This telescope will dramatically improve our understanding of the birth of stars as well as shed important light on the processes which occurred in the early universe," said Fred Byron, interim vice chancellor for Research. "This is the largest basic science collaboration in history between Mexico and the U.S., and it is hoped that many more such fruitful collaborations will occur in the future between the two countries."

     Construction of the LMT is currently underway on the peak of Cerro LaNegra, a mountain in central Mexico some 150 miles east of Mexico City. Funding for the project comes from the U.S. and Mexican governments, the state of Massachusetts, the University, and Mexican universities.

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