The decommissioning of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) on the summit of Maunakea is on track to be completed in 2023, according to a January 19, 2023 news release by CSO.
The deconstruction will begin in the spring when weather conditions permit.The deconstruction includes the removal and transport of the telescope, physical deconstruction of the building housing the telescope and the restoration of the site.
The majority of the contents within the observatory have already been removed along with the lead-based paint and mold from the facility’s exterior. Environmental air monitoring and inspections were conducted throughout the removal process to ensure full containment.
CSO is currently working on finalizing traffic control plans and permits for the transport of the telescope to Kawaihae Harbor for shipping.
Second decommissioning project underway
CSO is one of two Maunakea telescopes currently in the final stages of the decommissioning process, established in the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Hōkū Kea Telescope is also on track to be decommissioned in 2023.