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The universe awaits

National Science Board Announces Federal Investment Recommendation

Announcement Funding
March 01, 2024

National Science Foundation to deliver funding plan for the U.S. Extremely Large Telescope Program by May 2024

On February 22, 2024, the National Science Board (NSB) released a statement and resolution regarding National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funding prospects for the U.S. Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP). The statement recognized the program as “the top recommendation for NSF’s ground-based initiatives” and affirms that “the Board stands ready to help the [NSF] agency meet this important, ambitious, and visionary goal for U.S. science and leadership.”

In response, the Giant Magellan Telescope released the following statement:

“The National Academies’ Astro2020 Decadal Survey highlighted the transformational science the US-ELTP would enable. U.S. astronomy plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of the universe and federal investment is a critical aspect of maintaining the nation’s global leadership and advancing compelling science. We respect the National Science Board’s recommendation to the National Science Foundation and remain committed to working closely with the NSF and the astronomical community to ensure the successful realization of the highest recommendation of the Decadal Survey, which will enable cutting-edge research and discoveries for years to come.”

The NSB announcement follows closely after the Giant Magellan Telescope welcomed Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) into its international consortium, expanding the consortium to 14 universities and research institutions. Membership now includes 8 universities and research institutions representing 6 states from the U.S. and 6 universities and research institutions from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Of the approved total project cost of $2.54 billion submitted to the NSF, the Giant Magellan Telescope’s consortium has collectively committed more than $850 million. More than 60% of this funding share comes from U.S.-based members of the consortium.


The Giant Magellan Telescope is the future of space exploration from Earth. Using seven of the world’s largest mirrors, the 25.4-meter telescope will produce the most detailed images ever taken of our universe. It will uncover the cosmic mysteries of dark matter, investigate the origins of chemical elements, and verify signs of life on distant planets for the first time. Giant Magellan is the work of the GMTO Corporation, an international consortium of 14 universities and research institutions representing Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. The telescope is under construction in Chile and anticipated to be completed in the early 2030s.

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