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Puerto Rico Pledges $8 Million To Rebuild Arecibo Observatory

The main collecting dish is among the world’s largest single-dish radio telescopes. The reflective dish is 1,000 feet in diameter, 167 feet deep, and covers an area of about 20 acres. Photo: UCF

Puerto Rico is committing $8 million to the effort to rebuild the Arecibo Observatory.

Outgoing Governor Wanda Vázquez signed an executive order last week establishing the rebuilding of the facility a “public policy” of the Puerto Rican government — citing the telescope’s role in encouraging Puerto Rican students to study science and its status as a tourist attraction.

The $8 million pledge will help rebuild a “more modern observatory,” according to a message posted to Facebook.

The dish collapsed last month after a series of snapped cables shut down the 305-meter telescope, which helped identify near Earth asteroids and far-away planets.

More than 100,000 people signed a White House petition to rebuild the damaged dish.

The National Science Foundation owns the observatory, and UCF manages the facility under an agreement with NSF. Congress has asked for a report on the cause of the collapse.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »