With Arecibo’s collapse, some scientists want to build its replacement on the Moon

2020 ended on a low note for the scientific community as the Arecibo Observatory collapsed in early December. However, this event has reinvigorated the discussion around NASA’s proposed Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT). Some scientists have even suggested that an LCRT on the Moon’s far side could act as a better replacement for Arecibo.

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Puerto Rico’s governor approves $8 million to rebuild Arecibo Observatory

Earlier this month, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico met its sad demise as the aging facility collapsed overnight. The facility’s destruction was a terrible day for the astronomy community, and rebuilding it felt entirely out of reach. However, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced just gave those hoping to rebuild Arecibo an unexpected glimmer of hope.

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Congress wants answers for Arecibo Observatory collapse cause and deconstruction plan

Both the House and Senate passed the Consolidated Appropriations Bill for 2021 this week, and while the biggest topic is the new COVID relief measure, this is a consolidation of several appropriation bills including the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill that oversees the Arecibo Observatory.

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Arecibo’s unfortunate collapse is a cautionary tale for other aging observatories

Early in the morning of December 1, the famed Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico suffered from a fatal collapse. The event marked the end to a string of unfortunate events that had plagued the observatory. Now, Arecibo’s sad demise and the events leading up to it are acting as a cautionary tale for other aging facilities.

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[Update: Drone footage] Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico faces ultimate demise after collapsing uncontrollably overnight

December 3, 2020: Updated with drone footage of the collapse provided by NSF.

The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico sadly met its ultimate demise overnight when the observatory collapsed. It was already going to be permanently closed due to damage sustained in August. A beating from Hurricane Maria three years prior originally put the observatory in bad shape. Then an auxiliary cable that supported the 900-ton instrument platform snapped and damaged the reflector dish underneath earlier this year.

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Arecibo radio telescope to be decommissioned due to damage

Today the National Science Foundation announced that, sadly, the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico would soon be decommissioned. This news comes after the telescope suffered damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017 and two snapped auxiliary cables.

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Broken cable cripples NASA and UCF supported Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was still undergoing repairs from damage by Hurricane Maria three years ago when an auxiliary cable broke and took the telescope offline this week.

The observatory is managed by the University of Central Florida in partnership with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc. NASA also relies on the telescope to support the Planetary Radar Project.

The broken cable slashed through the 1,000-foot-wide reflector dish this week, creating 100 feet of damage throughout the telescope.

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