Iconic Telescope Featured In GoldenEye Set To Be Dismantled

Iconic Telescope Featured In GoldenEye Set To Be Dismantled

A huge USA space telescope located deep in the jungle of Puerto Rico will be closed after suffering two devastating accidents in recent months, ending 57 years of astronomical discoveries. But they are under threat if the telescope structure collapses. However, considering the safety of the workers involved in the everyday operations of the telescope, this decision to demolish the structure is to be taken.

The Democrat Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Republican Congressman Frank Lucas, who are respectively chair and ranking member on the US House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said in a statement that they were "saddened by the loss of the facility". "There is a serious risk of an unexpected and uncontrolled collapse", Gaume said.

The Arecibo telescope's long and productive life has come to an end. Photo courtesy of UCF.

"For almost six decades, the Arecibo Observatory has served as a beacon for breakthrough science and what a partnership with a community can look like", Panchanathan said. "We understand how much Arecibo means to this community and to Puerto Rico". Over decades, it endured hurricanes, endless humidity and a recent string of strong earthquakes.

This 900-tonne dome hangs 500 m above the vast dish of the telescope with the help of 18 thick steel cables attached to three concrete towers.

One broken cable seemed like a fixable problem, but in early November a second cable broke. The reflective dish is 1,000 feet in diameter, 167 feet deep, and covers an area of about 20 acres. Not long after, it was reported that a second cable had snapped, forcing the NSF to evaluate how to fix it.

Even if you don't know it by name, the imposing futuristic vision of the Arecibo Observatory rising out of the rainforest is surely an image you've encountered along your travels through the internet. There was a plan to replace the fallen cable until November, when a main cable snapped and even more cables were loose. Both the auxiliary cable and the main cable were connected to the same support tower, a news release states.

Now managed by the University of Central Florida (UCF), the Arecibo dish is located in a natural hollow.

"While this outcome is not what we had been working towards, and we are disheartened to see such an important scientific resource decommissioned, safety is our top priority", Cartwright said.

Most notable was its discovery of the first binary pulsar, B1913+16 in 1974.

The news saddened numerous more than 250 scientists that have used a telescope that is also considered one of Puerto Rico's main tourist attractions, drawing some 90,000 visitors a year.

Cartwright said that despite this disappointing setback, the university remains committed to the scientific mission in Arecibo and to the local community in Puerto Rico.

"NSF has chose to begin the process of planning for a controlled decommissioning of the ... telescope", Jones said.

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