Institution(s): 1. SAAO
The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) was a relatively cheap (~$20M) 10m class telescope, modelled on the innovative HET design, for which the construction phase was completed in late 2005. However it took another 6 years or so before the commissioning was really completed and the telescope entered full science operations. This talk will discuss the design and construction of SALT, its First Generation instruments and the operational model for the telescope. A number of technical challenges, some unforeseeable at the time, had to be overcome, which are described in this talk. Some science highlights will be presented, covering a range of topics and focussing on studies related to some of the more unique or rare capabilities of SALT, like time resolved studies. Finally, I look to the future and the prospects of new instruments and capabilities.