Arecibo Observatory damaged following a cable incident

Arecibo Observatory was damaged after cables holding the observatory telescoped snapped, bringing the structure down. The observatory, which is located in Puerto Rico, came down crashing after the auxiliary cables that helped support the metal platform in place snapped, causing a 100-foot-long gash on the telescope’s reflector dish.

The 2:45 event also caused damage to the 6-8 panels in the Gregorian Dome, which extended up to the twisted the platform used for accessing the dome. The damage has not been fully audited, but from a far, it looked like the entire structure had been destroyed.

Damage of the Arecibo Observatory

Francisco Cordova, the director of the Arecibo observatory indicated that they were still assessing the damage caused by the incident. He continued by saying that experts had been deployed in the area and tasked with ensuring that the damage is fully assessed.

He insisted that for now, all they were doing was ensuring the safety of the staff who run the facility and protecting the equipment and the facility. He indicated that they would be working hard to ensure that the facility is restored so that they can continue supporting scientists around the world.

The founding of the facility

The Arecibo observatory began operating in 1963 and was tasked with finding asteroids and alien life. In 1974, scientists used the facility to send binary signals to cluster of stars, 2,500 light-years away from earth. The facility has also become a central part of NASA extraterrestrial missions.

The observatory was popularized by famous movies, including the 1995 James Bond movie, the GoldenEye and the 1997 movie the contact which its main protagonist works on the facility as an astronomer.

The running of the Arecibo Observatory has been stopped due to damage, as experts try to assess and come up with a solution on how they can restore the damaged telescopes and other assets.


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