Scrapping of the Aricebo Observatory due to Damage


Valued Senior Member

Aricebo’s Damage is so Serious and Dangerous, They’re Just Going to Scrap the Observatory Entirely
This past summer, the Arecibo Observatory suffered major damage when an auxiliary cable that supports the platform above the telescope broke and struck the reflector dish. Immediately thereafter, technicians with the observatory and the University of Central Florida (UCF) began working to stabilize the structure and assess the damage. Unfortunately, about two weeks ago (on Nov. 6th), a second cable broke causing even more damage.

Following a thorough review, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that the observatory cannot be stabilized without risking the lives of construction workers and staff at the facility. As such, after 57 years of faithful service and countless contributions to multiple fields of astronomy, the NSF has decided to commence plans for decommissioning the Arecibo Observatory.

This decision came shortly after the NSF evaluated assessments from a number of independent experts and companies to determine the cause of the structural failures and recommend steps for effecting repairs. These assessments indicated that the support cables are no longer capable of carrying the loads required of them and that the telescope structure is in danger of a catastrophic failure.

In addition, several assessments stated that any attempt to make repairs could put the lives of workers in danger. They also found that even if the repairs were successful, the structure would still be suffering from long-term stability issues. As Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in an NSF statement:
more at link....................
Apologies for the heading stuff up....If a kind mod could fix that up? Deleting the "erious and dangerous".

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses:

A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday.

The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform and the Gregorian dome—a structure as tall as a four-story building that houses secondary reflectors—fell onto the northern portion of the vast reflector dish more than 400 feet below.

The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed. An auxiliary cable snapped in August, causing a 100-foot gash on the 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish and damaged the receiver platform that hung above it. Then a main cable broke in early November.

The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world.
more at link............
Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses:

It has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is constructor! 'E's a deformed! Bereft of focus, 'e rests in pieces! If it hadn't been held up with cables it 'e'd be resting with the daisies! 'Is scanning processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the net! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is construction coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' rusting invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-TELESCOPE!!

Thanks Monty

The Aricebo Observatory was impressive but not nearly as impressive as in the movies.:)


Juxtaposed screen grabs from a video taken by the Arecibo Observatory show the telescope’s platform as it fell.

The 900-ton platform crashed into the Arecibo telescope’s main dish on December 1, 2020.