Brief Chronology of VATT development

Prepared by Lori Stiles, Office of Public Information, University of Arizona, with updates by CJC.

1983: Site testing begins on Mount Graham

1985: March -- Spin-casting of 1.8-meter primary mirror in Steward Observatory Mirror Lab; The Vatican Observatory and Steward Observatory agree to build a telescope with the 1.8-meter primary mirror

1986: September -- Incorporation of Vatican Observatory Foundation (nonprofit); November -- Design of telescope begins

1987: March -- First fundraising campaign begins

1988: July -- Contract for telescope mount with L?F Industries; November -- Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act authorizes construction on Mount Graham

1989: January -- Second fundraising campaign begins; February -- Design of astrophysics facility begins; May -- Contract for secondary mirror with Space Optics Research Labs.

1990: February -- Telescope mount delivered to test facility near Tucson; October -- Contract with T.L.Roof signed, and site clearing for facility building on Mount Graham begins

1991: June -- Weather-delayed start of concrete foundation work on Mount Graham; November -- Steward Observatory completes polishing of the primary mirror

1992: April -- Construction resumes on Mount Graham; May -- Polishing of secondary mirror completed; October -- Telescope mount and dome installed on Mount Graham

1993: February -- Substantial completion of facility building; March -- Installation of scientific equipment; September -- First light with primary mirror in place, and beginning of commissioning phase; September 18 -- VATT dedication

1994: July -- Second light with secondary mirror in place

1995: January -- Scientific observations begin

1999: March -- Kresge Science Initiative Grant work begins, with substantial completion a year later, bringing VATT close to planned optical and mechanical performance and reliability

2002: December -- Installation of CorMASS, a low resolution, near infrared, slit spectrograph

2003: September 18 -- Tenth Anniversary! See Fall 2003 Newsletter.