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Press Release

Contact: Teresa S. Thomas
412-268-3580

For immediate release:
March 26, 2002

Carnegie Mellon Receives $250,000 from State of Pennsylvania for Telescope Project

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will receive $250,000 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for science educational programs that will result from the university's participation in the South African Large Telescope (SALT).

State Representative Tom Stevenson, R-42nd District, announced plans to present the check to university officials on Wednesday, March 27. Stevenson was instrumental in working with the House Appropriations Committee to obtain the grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development.

"In working with the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have been able to secure an additional $250,000 grant for Carnegie Mellon University's SALT project. The Commonwealth's continued commitment to this important project shows our ongoing support of this region as a world leader in science and technology and will help encourage students and workers to locate here. I am honored to support and promote this collaborative project," Stevenson said.

Astrophysicist Richard Griffiths, who leads the Carnegie Mellon research team that will use SALT, said his group was "delighted to receive this award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

Griffiths is a member of the board of directors for the telescope, which he described as a "truly international venture." Griffiths will use the research capabilities of SALT to further study the distant galaxies and black holes that he has been finding using telescopes in space.

Carnegie Mellon is an official partner in SALT, an important new ground-based observatory being built in the southern hemisphere. An international consortium of universities and governments are funding the project. Other partners in SALT come from Germany, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom and several universities in the U.S. The telescope is expected to become operational in 2004.

More information about SALT can be found at www.salt.ac.za

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