In December last year, soon after it was declared inactive, the Arecibo radio telescope, Puerto Rico, the second-largest in the world, collapsed. The instrument platform collapsed from a height of 140 meters, completing 57 years of astronomical contributions.
However, after several complaints about the damage, the government of Puerto Rico announced that the telescope would undergo reconstruction. The executive order, signed by Puerto Rican Governor Wanda Váquez, establishes that US $ 8 million (R $ 42 million) will be allocated for the restructuring.
In addition to rebuilding, the investment will also aim to repair the environmental damage caused by the fall of the telescope. An initiative to remove and correct the affected material has already been taken by the US National Science Foundation, the organization that runs the observatory.
“In recognition of the cultural, scientific and social values of the people of Puerto Rico and the Observatory for Humanity, the Puerto Rico Planning Council designated the area as a historic area. We understand that the state and federal government, along with Both private sector will help in the reconstruction process, ”said Wanda Váquez.
History of the observatory
Inaugurated in 1963, the Arecibo Radio Telescope was famous for sending data about the Earth to space, such as the number of inhabitants and the average height of an adult human. This action is known as the “message from erisbo”, and was a type of proof that binoculars could make contact with possible extraterrestrial life.
In addition to its contribution to the discovery of exoplanets and its role in protecting the Earth by detecting dangerous asteroids, the observatory was also known to appear on cinemas. “007 Contra GoldenEye” (1995) and “Contecto” (1997), were two famous films that featured the Aresibo Telescope in their filming.
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