It’s game over for the Arecibo Observatory, home to an iconic, thousand-foot-wide radio telescope near Puerto Rico’s northern shore. Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it is decommissioning the massive 57-year-old telescope. The agency also intends to demolish the instrument, which is teetering on the verge of collapse.
“As someone who was inspired as a child by the observatory to reach for the stars, this is devastating and heartbreaking. I’ve seen how the observatory to this day continues to inspire my island,” writes Edgard Rivera-Valentín of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in a direct message on Twitter to National Geographic.
The decision comes after a tough few months for the observatory. Engineers were trying to stabilize the