But the project could still be endangered if the NSF and the DOE don’t get along. In 2010, the foundation pulled out of a plan to build an underground laboratory for DOE experiments in South Dakota. “There’s still a lot of nervousness about interagency collaboration,” says David MacFarlane, an astrophysicist at SLAC and chairman of the board of the LSST Corporation. But the agencies have drawn up a formal agreement that could help to reassure the NSF board that the collaboration is on solid ground.
Andy Woodsworth, a physicist in Victoria, Canada, who at the end of May chaired an external review of the project, says that the LSST has already found its footing. “The time has come for this sort of survey,” he says.