LSSTC, with headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, was formed in 2003 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 Arizona corporation with four founding institutional members – The University of Arizona, The University of Washington, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), through its operating center, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). LSSTC was founded to initiate the LSST project in order to advance the science of astronomy and physics. Our primary purpose is to advance research and education by collaborating in the construction and operation of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope system.
With a consortium of more than 35 universities, research institutions, corporations, and individuals LSSTC started designing and building the LSST as a public-private partnership. Through its stewardship of the private funding portion of the public/private partnership, LSSTC was able to fund fabrication of long-lead elements of the telescope, such as the primary/tertiary mirror, facilitating early site preparation, critical R&D, and data management system development. This early work proceeded in parallel with efforts to secure federal funding for construction of the telescope facility.
With construction underway, the focus of the LSST Corporation has turned to preparing the community to use this amazing facility when it becomes operational in 2022. LSSTC is committed to foster and build new modes of interdisciplinary collaboration at the interface of astronomy, physics, computer science, mathematics, and information science. Through graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and endowments, science schools, workshops, and think tanks, and support of science collaborations, LSSTC will enable the training of a new generation of young scientists and researchers and prepare the scientific community for the challenges that LSST will bring.
Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded LSST Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
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