It has been remembered that Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) was engaged in building a two one-meter diameter telescopes project for the past five years which was primarily aimed and targeted to establish Entoto Observatory and Research center (EO). The contract for building of the telescope was given to ASTELCO company by ESSS. ASTELCO is a German based Company who have ample experience in building and installing Astronomical telescope in the world.
The installation of the telescopes were completed couples of months ago and waiting for commissioning to its full operation. The final commissioning was carried out for a week by group of external commissioners &international Scientists who have ample years of experiences in the field and came from South Africa and Russia.
The commissioning was successfully completed and approved by external commissioners to handover the telescopes and the handovering ceremony was taken place on 20 Feb 2015. The handovering document between ESSS and ASTELECO was signed up by Dr. Solomon Belay & Mr. Peter Anoil from ESSS and ASTELCO side respectively.
- After the handovering ceremony, Dr. Solomon, director of the observatory made a speech on behalf of ESSS & EO. In his speech he thanked EO staff's, ESSS ,ASTELCO and the commissioning scientist Dr. David Buckley from South Africa who is scientific advisor & commissioner of ESSS Telescope since 2009 & Dr. Nicolay from Russia who is Scientific commissioner collaborator of EO. Dr. Solomon said that he is happy to reach for this day and he mentioned that this day is memorable day not only for ESSS and EO but also for all Ethiopian youths who are ambitious and eager to be astronomer and space Scientist. He further stated that the observatory will be one of the key strategy in realizing the Entoto observatory's 10 years vision and missions. Finally he thanks again ASTELCO Company for its effort and success of the project and mentioned to work together for another big project like lalibella.
Mr. Peter Anoil,(from ASTELCO), on his part said that he is very happy in supplying the telescopes and successful final commissioning and handovering of the telescopes. He further mentioned that the telescopes can be used for doing scientific research and education for the country and he thanks all who helped and support them during the whole process specifically, Dr. Solomon ,the scientific commissioners and ESSS. He finally extends his wishes for success of the observatory and his hopes to look forward to collaborate &work together.
Dr. David Buckley ,who is an astronomer and a Scientific Director of South Africa Large Telescope (SALT) , has been participated on EO telescope and Lalibella site test project as scientific advisor since 2009 . As scientific advisor & commissioner of the telescope, he mentioned that they have gone through all of the different performance criteria of the telescopes, and make sure that they adhere to the specification and he witnessed that the performance of the telescope has met the requirement and these telescope can be routinely used to do scientific research. He further stated that he is very excited for Ethiopia to have this facilities, since the twin telescopes are state of the art telescopes with instrumentation that can enable to do forefront astronomical research in an area that has never been done before. Finally he concluded that having such facility here is the huge boost and important for the uplift of development of astronomy not just in Ethiopia but in East Africa region as well.
- Dr. Nicolai Shatasky, who comes from Russia, Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University with specialization of instrumentation, is also another external commissioner of EO's Telescope. Dr. Nicolai in his part said that he was pleasured to see and meet the scientific community such as David Buckley and Peter Anoil once again here at Africa land for commissioning, since they have been known each other longtime ago & participated in indifferent campaign for site testing and making of new telescope.
He explained about the commissioning and he said that they did a quiet good job and he mentioned that that the telescopes are the new level advancement of astronomy on the level of the world not on the level of Africa and he finally stated that he is very happy to say that "Africa enters to the professional astronomy at a very good level"
Group photo after handovering ceremony.