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The MCCM Observatory is built around our Optical Guidance Systems (OGS) RC24, a 24 inch (.6 m) aperture Ritchey-Chrétien professional grade computer controlled telescope complete with a steel and aluminum observatory dome with steel foundation structure made by Ash Manufacturing. We also obtained the complete design blueprints for the entire facility as it was originally built in Arizona; this includes the observatory foundation with the detached classroom and control facility building, so the reconstruction of this in Maryland should go uneventfully. We already own several smaller transportable telescopes with educational and scientific instruments that will be at the disposal of this project.

The facility was acquired in August 2007 and is undergoing relocation from the dark skies of Arizona to Maryland where it and its associated equipment with other telescopes will be made available to promote science education through astronomy. In June 2008 the complete telescope, Ash Observatory Dome was disassembled, crated, and moved to a secure warehouse in Laurel, Maryland. The welded steel Base of the Dome has been cut into quarters and is stored in Arizona pending its relocation to a suitable site to rebuild the facility in Maryland.

When the decision was initially made to acquire the observatory and relocate it to Maryland it was conceived to become a private observatory. But after considering the advanced capabilities of this modern observatory system and the lack of access by school children to such resources, the choice was made to establish this where it would convenient for educators and their students.

The Telescope is now in Maryland!

Moving to Maryland
Above: The relocating of the Observatory from Arizona to Maryland is a 2,400 mile venture!
The disassembly in Arizona and transport of the telescope and dome took place over the week of 22 June 2008.

The above tasks will have been the easy part. By storing the Observatory in Maryland we are now provided with the time needed to accomplish the remaining work:

  • associate and organize with those people who can cooperate: school systems, zoning, etc.
  • raise funds to acquire land or a lease agreement
  • raise funds to install the observatory and build the associated facility
  • conclude operating agreements
  • participate in the formulating of lesson plans with involved school systems

We prefer to establish this facility and to operate independently of taxpayer dollars. The following are estimates of what the expenses have been, what future expenditures are anticipated to be, and when known from where funding originates. The red checkmark indicates the particular aspect has been funded and or resolved.

  • buy the Biosphere 2 Observatory complete with telescope and mount, Ash Dome and steel foundation, computer control system: cost donated in confidencecheckmark

  • disassemble and crate the structure: cost donated in confidencecheckmark

  • move the facility to Maryland: cost donated in confidencecheckmark

  • store the facility to Maryland: use of facility donated in confidencecheckmark

  • acquire suitable land in Maryland (on the order of 5 acres): $800,000

  • build Observatory concrete foundation, run utilities, assemble and install telescope: $30,000

  • build approximately 3,000 sq. ft. building with control room, class/lecture room, showroom: $375,000

  • provide paved parking and areas for portable telescopes: $25,000

  • fence or provide other safety/security perimeter for areas from building to around observatory dome: $25,000

  • procure associated astronomical telescopes, CCD imaging systems, Solar equipment: provided in confidencecheckmark

  • facility operating costs per annum (insurance, utilities, maintenance): $26,000 from shop operating revenuecheckmark

  • staff salaries and related costs per annum anticipating two full time and one part time employes: $126,000 from shop operating revenuecheckmark

How you can help: this is going to happen, but it will happen better and faster with your support. Now that we have gone much of the way towards establishing the Observatory with the financial backing of Company Seven, we will invite those who share our interest in science education and astronomy to help fund this venture too. Be reassured that by giving to the MCCMO your money will go strictly to the facilities since no staff who are working to make this project happen are paid any salary or reimbursement from this fund.

    Send check or money order to MCCM Observatory, C/o Company Seven, P.O. Box 2587, Laurel, Maryland 20709-2587.

    Or donate by credit card or PayPal. Our process is fully encrypted and by doing so this increases the security of both your transactions and the entire payment network, by ensuring that this donation's details cannot be changed by a third party.

Select to make a contribution directly to the MCCM Observatory Facilities Fund from anywhere around the Globe
this will take you to the secure PayPal site to process the donation via your PayPal or Credit Card account; the process is fast, free and secure!





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Pending establishment of our own offices, for the time being feel free to contact us through Company Seven with any questions or suggestions.

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