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UHERO, institute at odds of Maui’s astronomy economic impact

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WAILUKU >> The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization says the financial impact of astronomy in Maui is relatively small at $5.34 million.

But the university’s Institute for Astronomy says the figure is much higher at $41 million.

The Maui News reported Sunday the UHERO study places Maui ahead of Kauai’s $2.61 million, but behind Honolulu’s $68.43 million and Hawaii County’s $91.48 million.

The facilities UH operates atop Haleakala include the Mees Solar Observatory, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System Observatory and NASA’s Transportable Laser Ranging System.

UH leases Haleakala sites to Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Space Command and the National Science Foundation.

Haleakala expects another $18 million annually when the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is completed in 2017.

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