July 31: Gemini North remains closed for observations. We would at this time have been in the scheduled engineering shutdown, but the continued lack of reliable access to Maunakea has delayed the start of that work. With the approaching Hurricanes Erick and Flossie bracketing the weekend, a small crew ascended to the summit this morning (31-Jul) to leave the facility in a safe state. Once we regain reliable summit access we will commence and complete the shutdown, but to limit the loss of time in 2019B have deferred the planned primary mirror coating until 2020. Updates will be posted as necessary.
July 17: Since Monday, July 15, the Maunakea Access Road has been closed by protestors attempting to prevent the transport of equipment to the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site, and the associated policing activity. Due to safety concerns, Gemini has opted to not send day crew to the Gemini North telescope facility. To ensure the safety of the facility, night operations have been cancelled until the situation becomes stable and we have reliable access to the mountain. Updates will be posted as necessary.