Inauguration of the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC)

24th July 2009 - La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS will be inaugurated at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) on July 24th, 2009, by their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain.
The GTC project was promoted by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. The design, construction and commissioning processes were managed by GRANTECAN, S.A., a public company, and involved thousands of people working for hundreds of different firms. The primary mirror for this huge scientific instrument is made up of 36 hexagonal vitroceramic segments, each 1.9 metres across, which together form a surface area equivalent to a 10.4m diameter single circular mirror.
Partners in the project are the Spanish Government (through the Ministry of Science and Innovation) and the Government of the Canary Islands, the Autonomous University of Mexico (IA-UNAM), Mexico's National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) and the University of Florida in the United States. The European Union has also contributed to the project through its European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The GTC has boosted technology development capacity in the companies that built it. Once in operation it will be a powerful tool for observing the Universe, and scientists will use it to uncover many of the secrets that still await us.