Iconic Telescope Featured In GoldenEye Set To Be Dismantled

Famed Arecibo telescope, on the brink of collapse, will be dismantled

This is a sad day for the world of astronomy.

The Arecibo Observatory is considered a cultural treasure in Puerto Rico and is visited by thousands of school children each year, and visitors from around the world, the release states.

An image showing the damage to the dish from a broken cable in August.

According to the statement issued by the National Science Foundation on Thursday, the massive radio telescope in Puerto Rico used by global scientists is set to be demolished.The telescope has served scientists across the world for almost 57 years, and it was used as a world-class service for radio astronomy and planetary activities.

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In the case of these latest breakages, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) conducted several assessments regarding repairs before deciding to decommission the telescope.

The NSF, who along with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc. operate the observatory, say that the decision has been made after reports from a number of independent engineering companies deemed the telescope structure to be in "danger of a catastrophic failure".

A large cache is visible in the Arecibo Observatory dish in this November 2020 film. The Observatory suffered serious injuries Damage due to a cable failure in August, And the situation only got worse.

Then another cable broke earlier this month, creating a new hole in the dish and damaging adjacent cables as engineers scrambled to devise a plan to preserve the defective structure. Cables hold up a 900-ton equipment platform over the telescope's huge reflector dish, and those cables have begun to fail.

A review found that the 305m telescope was at risk of catastrophic collapse, following damage to its support system. UCF manages the facility for the National Science Foundation.

It was the site of an action scene in the 1995 film GoldenEye, in which Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, spars with Bean's Trevelyan on the platform above the dish. It has lasted for almost 57 years and provided valuable insights for many scientists across the world. It explored pulsars, expanded our knowledge of Mercury, discovered exoplanets, and detected rapid radio explosions.

Scientists took to Twitter to mourn for the observatory. "It's a big science gut punch".

"It was my Disney", wrote Edgard Rivera-Valentín, a Universities Space Research Association scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, in a series of tweets.

The NSF's condemnation plan will focus on binoculars in an effort to protect surrounding surveillance structures. "When all the necessary arrangements are made, the telescope will be subjected to controlled extraction", the foundation said.