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Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will not be rebuilt
by Matt Bernardini
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 14, 2021

The National Science Foundation said Friday that it won't rebuild the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and instead pans to build a STEM-focused education center.

The center would expand upon existing education and outreach opportunities, and is expected to open in 2023, the NSF said in a statement.

The NSF is soliciting proposals to manage "the education, STEM research, and outreach aspects of the center."

The observatory once was home to the world's most powerful radio telescope, but it collapsed in December 2020.

The 59-year-old facility had hosted Nobel Prize-winning scientists and blockbuster Hollywood movies alike over the years.

Its futuristic-looking suspension bridge and large Gregorian dome were once featured in movies like Contact in 1997 starring Jodie Foster and the 1995 James Bond film Golden Eye.

The National Science Foundation owns the facility, which is currently managed by the University of Central Florida and a consortium of organizations and businesses on the island.

The observatory is about 60 miles west of the capital, San Juan, in the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico. It was damaged during Hurricane Maria in 2017 and rattled by earthquakes in early 2020.

An investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing. In March, the visitor center reopened.

Arecibo has been home to other active astronomical instruments, such as a 12-meter telescope and a LIDAR facility, which can study the atmosphere by bouncing laser beams off particles about 20 to 100 miles above the Earth.

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NASA's Roman Mission delivers detectors to Japan's PRIME Telescope
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 10, 2022
Billy Keim, a NASA technician, removes a 16-megapixel detector from its shipping container internal fixture as engineer Stephanie Cheung coordinates the activity. NASA's future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be fitted with 18 of these infrared detectors, which have now been flight-approved. The Roman team possesses extra detectors that will be used for other purposes. The team reserved six of the surplus detectors to serve as flight-quality backups and several more for testing. Additional ... read more

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