The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is being developed by a consortium of major US and international educational
and research institutions. The 25 meter next-generation telescope will be located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
The project has completed the conceptual design of the telescope and enclosure and is currently in the Design
Development Phase leading up to construction. Various refinements have been made to the telescope structure since the
Conceptual Design. These include the modification of the upper truss structure to reduce image blur due to wind shake
and the design of a 9 meter rotator for large Gregorian instruments. An integral field spectrograph has been added to the
candidate list of first-generation instruments. The primary mirror for GMT consists of seven 8.4 meter diameter
segments. The first of the six, highly aspheric, off-axis segments has been cast and generated at the University of
Arizona SOML with completion of the mirror expected in 2009. The metrology for polishing the segments is currently
being installed in the new test tower at SOML. Verification tests that independently measure the mirror figure have been
designed and are also being implemented. This paper summarizes the overall design and recent progress in the technical
development of GMT and in characterizing the site.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.