GoldenEye: Famous Dish Location to Be Demolished Due to "Catastrophic" Damage

Alonzo Simpson
November 21, 2020

This comes after 57 years of the telescope running continuously.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has confirmed that the 1,000-foot telescope at Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory, as seen in 1995's GoldenEye film, as well as the classic video game based on it, is set to be demolished. Scientists worldwide have used the dish along with the 900-ton platform hanging 450 feet above it to track asteroids on a path to Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and determine if a planet is potentially habitable.

As IGN reported, the famous structure began malfunctioning in August when an auxiliary cable slipped out of its socket and fell into the dish below, leaving a large gash. This cable was an auxiliary one, which meant that the dome was not directly held up by it. Another cable then broke earlier this month, tearing a second hole.

In addition, its cables, one of which recently snapped and tore through the dish leaving a significant gash, may no longer be capable of carrying the loads they were created to support.

On November 6, one of the main steel cables of the telescope broke, causing further damage and leading officials warned that the entire structure could collapse. The photo on the right, from November 17, shows several more tears.

Engineers have not yet determined the cause of the initial cable's failure, a NSF spokesperson said.

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"Following a review of engineering assessments that found damage to the Arecibo Observatory can not be stabilized without risk to construction workers and staff at the facility, the US National Science Foundation will begin plans to decommission the 305-meter telescope, which for 57 years has served as a world-class resource for radio astronomy, planetary, solar system, and geospace research", the NSF said.

The engineering company that examined the structure concluded that the remaining cables were possibly weaker than expected and recommended controlled demolition, which the foundation accepted.

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in the release that NSF's top priority is the safety of workers, and the observatory's staff and visitors - he said it makes the decision to disassemble the telescope necessary, but unfortunate.

Following is a summary of current science news briefs. The Arecibo Observatory In Puerto Rico, the home of an epic telescopic bowl, saying goodbye.

The observatory's broad reflective dish and 816-ton structure hangs 137 meters above it, nestled in Arecibo's humid forests Puerto RicoIt has been used by scientists and astronomers around the world for decades to analyze distant planets, find potentially risky asteroids and search for fingerprints of extraterrestrial life.

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