While a telescope clash still lingers regarding Mauna Kea Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii and protestors are still blocking the construction, Hawaii’s governor, David Ige has announced that the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) can continue.
Mauna Kea Telescope Clash Brings Discontent, Protest to Mauna Kea
The TMT building project, which has been stopped for the past month, is worth $1.4 billion dollars. Now, after the governor’s announcement, the TMT construction company has been given the go to restart its construction despite the lingering telescope clash with natives who travel up the mountain to protest.
The TMT is set to be 18 stories tall with a huge mirror that is expected to be three times bigger than any telescope now in existence. It will be a diameter of 30 meters, or almost 100 feet across. Mauna Kea was chosen for a building site due to its dry air and clear sky that is free of light pollution that would cause problems for a telescope.
Mauna Kea Telescope Builders Trying to Cooperative with Natives
While the governor has said that the construction company building the TMT is fulfilling its obligation to manage the project in a respectful and neighborly way, the local residents who travel to the site to object through a telescope clash don’t agree. They are unhappy because the TMT is being constructed on what is considered sacred ground by the natives.
Ige has said that he contacted the University of Hawaii to make sure that the current building area is the final area on Mauna Kea that a telescope might be constructed. Additionally, the university must decommission 25 percent of the telescopes now on the mountain after the TMT is finished being built.
New Mauna Kea Cultural Council to be Formed
In addition, a new Mauna Kea Council will be formed to advise the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), as well as take a look at its present leases and lease renewals. The university must also give 10,000 acres of land it isn’t using to the DLNR.
They must also provide a good balance between space science and culture on Mauna Kea and the state will help to enforce that stability. The university is now required to produce a list of all of the steps it will take to comply with the state’s demands.
Local residents involved in the tourism industry up the mountain say that the Mauna Kea telescope controversy makes them unhappy with this approval and they still plan to protest the TMT construction and expect more of their people to be arrested on Mauna Kea.