We remind you that the disaster occurred last Tuesday. Then a sad entry appeared on the Twitter profile of the American National Science Foundation (NSF), to which the Arecibo Observatory belongs. A 900-ton receiver platform, which hung 150 meters on it, fell onto the radio telescope's dish. The canopy was seriously damaged. Scientists have announced that the facility will not be rebuilt.
Now we learn that the NSF authorities on December 1 conducted a strength test of the ropes supporting the platform with the receiver. The technicians were to check if there was a chance to save the installation. Unfortunately, as previously forecasted, the ropes did not withstand the appropriate tension. Moments after the test began, the ropes broke and the entire structure began to fall apart.
The critical moment was captured on footage from surveillance cameras and an inspection drone. Although you are sorry to see it, you have to admit that the collapse of the structure looked spectacular. The authorities recententertainment the Arecibo Observatory ordered the further demolition of the facility so that it would not pose a threat to employees.
The role of Arecibo will now be taken over by the largest radio telescope in the world, the Chinese FAST. Several projects are currently underway there to detect and analyze the secret sources of high-speed radio flashes (FRB). Scientists also want to complete their projects initiated a few years ago in Arecibo there.