The United States refused to restore the giant Aresibo radio telescope despite the requests of scientists

The United States refused to restore the giant Aresibo radio telescope despite the requests of scien

The Aresibo radio telescope located in Puerto Rico, which collapsed in 2020, will not be restored; instead, an educational centre will be opened in its place.

The Aresibo massive radio telescope has played a key role for several decades in three fields of science: atmospheric research, radio astronomy and planetary radar; the scientific equipment of the 1963 telescope was placed on a suspension platform located above 305 metres of reflecting bowls at an altitude of about 130 metres; in December 2020, the multiton platform collapsed into the bowl, puncturing a large hole, causing a failure of the telescope.

Now, the U.S. National Science Foundation, owned by Aresibo, has announced that, despite the requests of the scientific community, there will be no new telescope at this location; the organization plans to open an educational centre here, but there is no long-term funding for the instruments that continue to operate at the observatory now.

," reported Abel Méndez, an astronomer from the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo, who used a radio telescope in his research.

Instead of rebuilding the NSF telescope, it was planning to use the observatory ' s legacy to create a key educational institution in Puerto Rico, turning it into a centre for education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

" says the NSF statement.

As part of the announced NSF competition, $5 million is planned for five years, and the NSF will provide a five-year maintenance contract of at least $1 million per year to the observatory, which, in the opinion of Abel Méndez, will be sufficient to maintain the operation of the centre, but not to carry out research activities.