It has been a long road for planners of the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will become the world's largest telescope—if it's completed on schedule. Casting of the first of seven mirrors, each formed from about 20 tons of borosilicate glass made from Florida sand, began way back in 2005. The project seems to finally be closing in on first light as the team amps up fundraising and construction efforts.
The organizers of the telescope are gearing up for fundraising needed to bring the project to completion and have hired a new president with significant executive experience: Robert N. Shelton, a former president of the University of Arizona and provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Anyone who has been a president and a provost understands the importance of fundraising," Shelton told Ars in an interview.
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