Their Story So Far…

The Thirty Meter Telescope is a new class of extremely large telescopes that will allow us to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects with unprecedented sensitivity.

TMT scientists selected Maunakea in July 2009 after a rigorous five-year campaign spanning the entire globe that measured virtually every atmospheric feature that might affect the performance of the telescope. Community outreach and engagement have been important to TMT from the start. Over the last 10 years, the project has held more than 20 public meetings, participated in numerous one-on-one meetings and group presentations, and has engaged in open dialog and meaningful discussions with community members and stakeholders to better understand the island’s issues as well as the cultural and natural significance of Maunakea. TMT has diligently followed the state’s laws, procedures and processes in its efforts to build TMT on Maunakea, including the preparation of a very extensive environmental impact statement. Over the last few years, TMT has experienced several unforeseen challenges, starting with the halting of its official groundbreaking ceremony by protestors in October 2014. Subsequent protests on the mountain prevented the start of construction on two separate occasions. On Thursday, September 28, 2017 the State Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) announced its decision to grant the Conservation District Use Permit to the University of Hawaii – Hilo to build TMT on Maunakea. TMT is now assessing its next steps. TMT is also awaiting resolution on the state’s consent to the University of Hawaii’s sublease to the TMT International Observatory. The issue is currently with the Hawaii State Supreme Court. Much more information about TMT and Hawaii can be found on a dedicated website at