Iconic Arecibo Observatory Undergoing Structural Inspections

In August, the iconic Arecibo Observatory was damaged when a cable snapped and fell, damaging a half-dozen panels. Now the historic observatory is being evaluated for repairs. Here’s more from Astronomy Now:

The iconic Arecibo Observatory remains off line pending completion of a detailed structural analysis and safety assessment in the wake of a cable failure last month that damaged the huge radio telescope’s stationary dish antenna and its Gregorian Dome sub-reflector. The analysis is expected to help engineers pin down what caused the cable break and to identify any other problem areas that might need attention.

“We know the process is taking a long time and we are eager to begin repairs,” said Francisco Cordova, the observatory’s director. “However, this is a big and complex facility, so it is taking some time to ensure we are doing things right. We have to be sure we are taking all factors into consideration before moving forward with putting people on the telescope to remove (damaged) pieces. Once those are in hand, we expect the timeline to pick up the pace.”

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