The EELT is a project led by ESO on behalf of its 14 member states. The project is in Phase B (detailed design), a
3-year, 57.2 M activity that will result in a Proposal for Construction by June 2010. The requirements for the basic
reference design, starting point for the current phase, were defined through a community process that led to the
convergence of earlier concepts into a single European project: a 42m adaptive telescope based on a novel 5-mirror
design that is scheduled to have first light in 2017. This paper reports on the status of the Phase B activities, on the basic
reference design development, and on the progress of the science case and Design Reference Mission.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.