10,000 Year Clock is gearing up for visitors

10,000 Year Clock
Workers install the 10,000 Year Clock inside an underground chamber in Texas. (Long Now Foundation)techno

With $42 million in funding from Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, the Long Now Foundation can afford to take the long view about a massive clock designed to run for 10,000 years — but it’s also open to hosting visitors in the nearer term.

The leader of the team behind the 10,000 Year Clock, which is currently being built inside a mountain in West Texas, talked about getting the place ready for guests in an interview published on Friday by The Hustle.

“We have a year or so more of installation work, and a year of commissioning,” Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation, was quoted as saying. “Then we’ll start to have people up to the clock.”

Don’t expect it to be a theme-park experience, however.

“The area is very remote high desert — one of the smallest per-capita areas in the lower 48 states,” The Hustle quoted Rose as saying. “People will have to hike up 2K feet to see it. Hopefully, it’ll be an experience that gives them some time to think about it all.”

Although Rose’s comments made it sound as if tours could begin in as little as two years, a spokesman for the Long Now Foundation told GeekWire that no completion date has been set.

“We don’t know when the clock will be completed,” Long Now’s Andrew Warner said in an email. “We have given hundreds of interviews and never given a completion estimate — part of the whole point of the project is to not limit ourselves to a completion date.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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