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Arecibo Heartbreak: Iconic SETI Dish Will Be Demolished

Accepted submission by DannyB at 2020-11-19 17:40:46 from the think-of-the-aliens! dept.

Arecibo Heartbreak: Iconic SETI Dish Will Be Demolished Due to Risk of ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse []

The recent failure of two support cables at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has destabilized the structure such that it cannot be repaired without placing construction workers at significant risk, according to officials with the National Science Foundation. As feared, the beloved 1,000-foot telescope will have to be decommissioned.

As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, we received news this morning that the giant dish at Arecibo will have to be demolished. The National Science Foundation came to this hard decision following a review of engineering assessments, which concluded that the observatory is in seriously bad shape and that it cannot be stabilized without placing workers in danger. The NSF is now planning for the controlled decommission of the dish, ending a historic 57-year run.

But there is this . . .

“I want to say this as forcefully as possible,” said Ralph Gaume, the director of NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences, at a call for reporters earlier today. “We’re not closing the Arecibo Observatory.”

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Original Submission