Giant Hawaii telescope cost estimate increases to $2.4B

FILE - In this July 14, 2019, file photo, the sun sets behind telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The cost to build a giant telescope that's unpopular among many Native Hawaiians is now estimated to have ballooned by a billion dollars. "While an exact updated project cost will depend on when and where on-site construction begins for the Thirty Meter Telescope, the latest estimate for the TMT project is in the range of $2.4 billion in 2020 dollars," Gordon Squires, TMT vice president, said in a statement this week. Construction of one of the world's largest telescopes on Hawaii's tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, has been stalled by foes of the embattled project who say the telescope will desecrate land held sacred to some Native Hawaiians.