eso9906 — Organisation Release
Third 8.2-m VLT Mirror Arrives Safely at Paranal
4 February 1999
On December 17, 1998, the third polished 8.2-m Zerodur mirror in its special transport box was loaded onto the vessel "Scanscot Oceanic" in the harbour of Le Havre (France). The ship left the same day and arrived with its precious cargo in Antofagasta in the morning of January 25, 1999. Here it was unloaded and placed on a heavy-duty carriage and moved to Paranal where it arrived two days later.
All went well and the first inspection of the mirror indicates that it has come through the long journey from Europe in good shape. It is now stored behind the power station next to the second 8.2-m mirror. That mirror is now awaiting coating by mid-February and installation in the UT2 by the end of the month.
This was the third transport of its kind and there is only one more to be done, before all of the giant Zerodur mirrors are at the VLT site. The first of these events took place in December 1997 and was followed with great interest by the media and the public. By now, such transports have developed into routine, although the greatest care must be exercised to ensure smooth and safe travel along the gravel roads in the Atacama desert.
Here are some related electronic photos, obtained by ESO staff who participated in this event. They show the unloading operation in the harbour of Antofagasta and the storage place at the basecamp on Paranal.
For the most recent news about the VLT Project, please look at the VLT Information webpage.