Unfortunately, this is not the first failure Arecibo suffered. It faced serious financial trouble in 2008 and again in 2016. Then, like much of Puerto Rico, the observatory suffered significant damage during Hurricane Maria. Things seem to be turning around in 2018 when a team led by UCF took over operations from the National Science Foundation and last year Arecibo got a boost from a $ 19 million NASA grant.
It is not clear how long the observatory will be out of service or how much the repair will cost.
“We have a team of experts assessing the situation,” said Francisco Cordova, the observatory̵7;s director, in a statement. “Our focus is on ensuring the safety of our employees, protecting facilities and equipment, and restoring the facility to normal operation as soon as possible so we can continue to support our scientists. study around the world. “
Although the Arecibo Observatory, built in the 1960s, is certainly not the newest, nor the most advanced, it is still one of the largest. gender. Based on American ScienceIt is especially good at finding gravitational waves and pulsars, and it has been used many times to better understand asteroids near Earth. The observatory has certainly bounced back from past failures. Hopefully, this time will not be different.