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Puerto Rican Observatory Gets $12 Million For Upgrades After Hurricane Maria

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Photo: Creative Commons / WikiMedia

A UCF-managed telescope in Puerto Rico is getting $12.3 million from the National Science Foundation to help repair damage from Hurricane Maria.

The grant money will be spent over the next four years to repair the telescope and its reflector and expand its capabilities.

“It’s got 14 distinct projects and it does a little bit of everything,” said observatory director Fransico Cordova. “Not just focusing on damaged equipment but making sure we are ready and resilient for a potential impact of similar weather event.”

The observatory, located about 60 miles west of San Juan, helps scientists search for gravitational waves and track potentially Earth-threatening asteroids.

UCF took over management of the observatory last year. It’s one of the largest operational radio telescopes in the world.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »