The construction of a huge new telescope has begun underway in the Chilean Andes. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has now entered the phase of "hard rock excavation", which will make room for the base. The newly initiated digging will be about 23 feet deep in the rock at Las Campanas. GMT is named after Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese sailor whose expeditions extended the European understanding of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
ALSO READ OUT | Aditya-L1 Mission to Sun: ISRO & # 39; s answer to NASA & # 39; S Parker Solar Probe  Construction company, Conpax carries out the work at the location of the telescope project, which is part of Las Campanas Observatory in northern Chile, according to representatives of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) Corp.
Earlier, during the ceremony for the Giant Magellan Telescope, Michael Hammer, the United States' ambassador to Chile, the South American nation called an "astronomical superpower."
Hydraulic drilling and hammering for the telescope site is expected to take several months. The foundations can then support the weight of the telescope, which is estimated at around 1,600 metric tons, according to a GMTO statement.
The Giant Magellan telescope is expected to become operational in 2024. It is estimated that the project costs $ 1 billion to the company.
"In total, we expect to remove 5,000 cubic meters [6,500 cubic yards] or 13,300 tons from rock from the mountain and will need 330 tipper loads to remove it from the top," said GMTO Project Manager James Fanson in a statement.
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Scientists believe that the location that accompanies the telescope will enable astronomers to make a number of amazing discoveries in many areas, from cosmology and astrophysics to astrobiology.