The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our lives over the past year, and Rubin Observatory Construction is no exception—we have experienced delays and challenges we could not have anticipated. Based on everything we know currently and can reasonably project, we expect that regular survey operations for Rubin Observatory will not begin before October 2023. This date has been reported to our funding agencies, and is being reviewed, but we expect it will be approved.
This change to our original plan is a difficult realization for all of us. We acknowledge the disappointment this announcement might cause many of you as well, from Rubin staff, to our science community, to the public who are following our progress with anticipation. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to clarify details of the impact of COVID-19 on our construction effort.
We also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our staff and collaborators throughout this “pandemic year.”
You have enabled significant progress toward completion of the facility and telescope on Cerro Pachón, LSSTCam in California, the Data Management and EPO systems, and the Operations Plan. Even with these efforts, key activities still drive the schedule and delays.
Stay safe, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any specific questions or concerns.
Steve Kahn, Rubin Observatory Director
Bob Blum, Rubin Operations Director