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Are We There Yet? Podcast

Remembering Arecibo & Sending Science To Space

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

A 305-meter radio telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed after sustaining damage earlier this year — sending 900 tons of radio equipment crashing into the dish.

The National Science Foundation announced last week a planned decommissioning of Arecibo Observatory after engineers said repairing the damage safely was impossible.

For nearly 60 years, Arecibo surveyed the sky, searching for alien life, far-away planets and tracking near-Earth asteroids.

We’ll talk with planetary radio astronomer Alessondra Springmann about her connection to the dish and what the end of Arecibo means for the scientific community.

Then, SpaceX is set to launch a shipment of supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station. We’ll talk with the ISS National Lab’s acting chief scientist Michael Roberts about some of the experiments heading to space and what it takes to conduct science from the orbiting lab.

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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 »