Gemini has been negotiating with the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for the continued design and construction of the Gemini High-resolution Optical Spectroraph (GHOS). The AAO has, in turn, been negotiating with KiwiStar, a subcontractor working on the GHOS spectrograph. Late in July, the Board of KiwiStar's parent company, Callaghan Innovation, met to review and hopefully approve the final contract so GHOS could get underway. Instead, however, Callaghan decided not to sign the contract and made KiwiStar's fate uncertain; it is likely to be disbanded or sold.
KiwiStar's loss adds a significant, but surmountable, complication for GHOS. Since Callaghan's announcement, we have been working closely with the AAO, Gemini's Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC), the AURA Oversight Committee for Gemini (AOC-G), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Gemini Board to plan our next step forward with GHOS. We are developing a plan we hope will keep us on track to bringing high-resolution optical spectroscopic capability to Gemini and will announce further updates as they mature.