In a 305-page decision, an Hawaiian judge has approved a new construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea.
This does not mean that the project now proceeds.
This isn’t the final say on whether the embattled project will proceed.
Now that Amano has issued her 305-page proposed decision and order, the state land board will set a deadline for telescope opponents and permit applicants to file arguments against her recommendations. The board will later hold a hearing and then make the final decision on the project’s conservation district use permit.
Not surprisingly, the Democratic governor of Hawaii issued a short, non-committal statement, stating that he supports “the co-existence of astronomy and culture on Mauna Kea,” whatever that means.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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