The 66 ALMA antennas are now installed!
The final ALMA antenna arrived at the Chajnantor Plateau, at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level, on Friday, June 13, 2014. This was the last antenna of the 25 contributed by Europe. Another 25 were built by North America (United States and Canada) and 16 antennas were contributed by East Asia (Japan and Taiwan).
This completes the set of 66 antennas with which the Observatory will operate. The antennas are synchronized to work as a single, giant antenna, with a total diameter of 16 kilometers (the longest distance between two antennas).
The 66th antenna was carried to the Array Operations Site (AOS) by Lore, a 130-ton vehicle specially designed for this task: transporting antennas.
In 2015, ALMA, the largest radio telescope in the world, will begin operating at maximum capacity, with astronomers fully dedicated to exploring our cosmic origins.