Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved a sublease for a $1.3 billion telescope that would be one of the world's largest. But the approval is on hold until the board hears objections in a separate review process.
The board met Friday to discuss issues raised previously about a plan to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island.
The sublease is the last major bureaucratic hurdle for scientists. The project also faces the threat of lawsuits by opponents.
Opponents have raised questions about whether appraisals of the land were done properly and whether Native Hawaiians were properly consulted.
Opponents say that if the telescope is built on Hawaii's tallest peak, it will desecrate a place held sacred by Native Hawaiians.
Explore further: Hawaii board OKs plan for giant telescope