Main Telescope Assembly

A 5-ton rolling overhead crane services this assembly area.

Two 8-foot deep assembly pits are centered in line. Telescopes larger than 30-inch will be assembled in this area.  Over each pit are ceiling openings that can be opened for optically testing telescopes against the nighttime sky.

Progressing down the right wall: a 24-Inch polar axle housing being assembled on a assembly stand.
Moving back & left, a 40-Inch polar axle housing on a skid.
To the right, a 40-Inch RA counterweight torque tube with counterweights attached.


John James is drilling holes in a 24 inch polar axle housing. Dick Nason is observing.

Near the far wall are parts for the Kitt Peak Heliostats. On the floor, skids with parts for instrument rotators.


Ron Plate with Dick Nason assembling a mirror cell on a 40 Inch telescope in the #2 assembly pit.

To hold an array of optical collimators, there were 121 identical machined holes in the casting at different angles all pointing to a single focal point.