Orbital Very Large Telescope

The Orbital Very Large Telescope, or OVLT, was a Terran radio telescope consisting of 40 dishes. Each dish was 250 meters in diameter. The space complex occupied the L1 Lagrange point between Terra and Sol and was the first major telescope system produced by the Terrans to take advantage of the gravitational lensing effect of a celestial body such as a star.

The OVLT is credited with many remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. Construction began in 2118 as an ambitious project administrated by the United Nations Space Agency (UNSA) and the numerous corporations involved did so under the guise of the United Nations Space Project Consortium. The OVLT officially came online in mid-2132 and went to work.

Once completed, the OVLT cost $198 billion USD to install. It is estimated that total project costs topped $290 billion USD during the decade long development and planning stage. At the time it was regarded as the most expensive such project ever completed.

One of the first targets of the OVLT were the stars of the Orion constellation.

The OVLT ceased operations in 2205 but was reactivated in 2225 following a much-needed overhaul of various vital systems. By this point it had already long outlived it's life expectancy. Numerous arrays had already been shut down permanently and were being cannibalized for parts for the rest of the dishes. In 2280, the UNSA cut funding to the OVLT as upkeep costs rose steadily.

In 2282 the complex was sold to private contractors to be utilized by universities. Sporadic operation continued for another two decades but funding was difficult to maintain and the operators eventually terminated the last functioning arrays in 2307.

In 2308, Array 5 was struck by an object and dislodged from the Lagrange point. The remaining 39 derelict dishes remained at L1 for nearly 150 years. Their fate was debated several times before and after the Enlightenment. They were eventually scrapped for structural materials by the fledgling Solar Union during the first few years of the Jovian War.