Lowell Observatory leaders describe risky journey in building new Discovery Channel Telescope

Jul 22, 2012

Lowell Observatory celebrated the completion of a risky journey Saturday with a special guest, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

Lowell Observatory board member John Giovale quoted Neil Armstrong as he described why the observatory sought to build a $53 million state-of-the-art telescope.

“After a Nobel laureate in physics advised John F. Kennedy that we shouldn’t go to the moon, Neil is quoted as saying, ‘there can be no great accomplishment without risk.’”

Giovale says Lowell leaders took an incredible risk in their venture to build their newest, largest and most advanced telescope.

But he says the biggest risk to the future of the observatory was not building an instrument that could take researchers to the next level.

Raising the money was a long shot until Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks donated $10 million to the cause.

The network will produce programs that highlight research by Lowell astronomers and their partners using the telescope.