Construction of the world’s largest optical telescope by a five-nation consortium including India is expected to start next year with Indian scientists making a significant contribution in developing its key components.

The Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT), dubbed as the world’s most advanced ground-based observatory, will be built at the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii at a cost of $1.2 billion.

The TMT Governing Board ended its two-day meeting here on Tuesday evening where it reviewed the status of the project and the contributions to be made by partner nations India, China, Japan, Canada and the US.

“The TMT will be 81 times more sensitive than the current telescopes of its kind,” said TMT Governing Board vice-chairman Edward Stone.

TMT Project Manager Gary Sanders said 15% of the 492 mirror segments, each 1.44 m in size, will be fabricated in India. – PTI