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Cable failures endanger renowned Puerto Rico radio telescope

Puerto Rico Troubled Telescope
Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 16:52:27-05

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The giant, aging cables that support one of the world's largest single-dish radio telescopes are slowly unraveling in Puerto Rico.

It's pushing Arecibo Observatory to the brink of collapse.

Last week, one of the telescope’s main cables snapped, further mangling a reflector dish that had sustained massive damage in August when an auxiliary cable broke.

The telescope has been used to track asteroids headed to Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and helped scientists trying to determine if a planet is habitable.

The funding for repairs hasn’t been worked out with federal agencies, and scientists say time is running out.