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Snapped Cable Damages Arecibo observatory radio telescope:

Orionblamblam

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The loss of the Aracibo array is another blow to our modern world in the face of nature.

We can all agree that nature is to be fought, defeated and pressed into involuntary servitude to the Empire of Man, but the fall of Arecibo was less about nature and more about incompetence and neglect.
 

chimeric oncogene

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China built a bigger one so it's not like the world lost capability.
FAST has its advantages, but it doesn't have the active radar. I heard NASA upgraded Goldstone with an interplanetary radar, and that might help with the shortfall there.
 

Hobbes

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In a sh te year another bit of bad news
The loss of the Aracibo array is another blow to our modern world in the face of nature.
China built a bigger one so it's not like the world lost capability.
But we did. Arecibo's unique value these days is that it's the world's most powerful radar system, which is used to study asteroids. The Chinese radio telescope has a bigger antenna, but no radar transmitter.

Apart from that, Arecibo's scientific output has been declining.
 

Grey Havoc

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No service without maintenance, they should have done some.
The maintenance budget was terminated back in 2016 during the Obama administration. Attempts to restore it during the present administration got bogged down in Congress. In fact, initially the NSF were pretty reluctant to even apply for said restoration, apparently for fear that the money would be taken out of other 'higher priority' programs.
 

Foo Fighter

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It concerns me that people want the data provided by Aracibo but, not the joy of maintaining it. Something my Grandad told me a very long time ago about motoring, "You want to play, you have to pay. Joys of motoring son".
 

Hobbes

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The transmitter dome has crashed into the dish.

Twitter

 

FighterJock

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I do hope that Arecibo MK.2 can be built into the existing site and make it a more powerful radio telescope than the MK.1 was in light of the Chinese FAST telescope.
 

Moose

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I don't think rebuilding Arecibo in the same size range as FAST is feasible at that site, though a bit of an increase over the original dish might be in the cards. The 1MW radar and the ability for Arecibo to receive at much higher frequencies are much more important capabilities to recover in a rebuild, not the least because FAST is unlikely to duplicate those (outside a massive rebuild).
 

FighterJock

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I do hope that Arecibo MK.2 can be built into the existing site
There are better sites. The far side of the moon is *littered* with them.

I have known about the scientists wanting to put a radio telescope in one of the large craters on the Moons far side for years now but two of the things that is stopping them from doing it is money and technical issues. Plus the fact that how are we going to get the telescope to the far side of the Moon without the Space Launch System rocket especially the unmanned variant that is not due to fly until after the manned variant's been to the Moon to establish a lunar base, which is the main goal of the Artemis mission. Personally I would stick with building an Arecibo MK.2 for now then look towards the Moon later when the money and technical issues have been solved.
 

Orionblamblam

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t how are we going to get the telescope to the far side of the Moon without the Space Launch System rocket especially the unmanned variant that is not due to fly until after the manned variant's been to the Moon to establish a lunar base, which is the main goal of the Artemis mission. Personally I would stick with building an Arecibo MK.2 for now then look towards the Moon later when the money and technical issues have been solved.
Step one: forget about the SLS. *Nothing* is ever going to be affordable with SLS. And that assumes it flies at all.
Step two: in order to solve the money and technical issues about going to the moon... go to the moon. Not having to deal with wind, rain, humidity and a gravity environment of 9.81 meters per second per second means your lunar radio telescope can be a lot lighter. Aided by the slow rotation of the moon, meaning the physical components will also move a lot slower. Start small... say, four or five meters. Should be doable with Starship right out of the gate. Over time scale up to a kilometer or two.

Arecibo Mk 2 would have to be built on Earth, in someone's back yard. Other than Arecibo itself, which has demonstrated itself to be a dismal location for such a scope (it took only half a decade or so for the local environemnt to eat away it it after the NSF decided to stop paying for upkeep), you'll have to find a place that not only is topologically appropriate for a dish, but also doesn't have jetliners and tourists and locals of all kinds bleating away at it with wifi and bluetooth and other radio signals. Good luck with that.
 

TomS

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If you're putting it in space, why not save the effort of landing it on the moon and just put in a halo orbit around the Earth-Moon L2? Probably more economical than lowering stuff back down another gravity well.
 

sferrin

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If you're putting it in space, why not save the effort of landing it on the moon and just put in a halo orbit around the Earth-Moon L2? Probably more economical than lowering stuff back down another gravity well.
Supposedly the NRO has ELINT satellites with 100m radio telescopes on them. I'll bet they could offer some ideas.

"Code name TRUMPET 1-3 was the successor to the JUMPSEAT spacecraft series the next in a long series of earth orbit NRO/USAF/NSA, SIGINT (signals intelligence) spacecraft used by the USAF and intelligence Community for a variety of mission. They were launched by the Titan-4A-Centaur and Titan-4B-Centaur boosters with a total of three TRUMPETS 1-3 successful launches identified. The spacecraft were actually nothing more than USAF/NSA mission specific sophisticated earth orbit space based earth receiving stations operating over the entire emitted electro magnetic radio spectrum frequency range. The TRUMPET 1-3 spacecraft introduced the third larger unfurling dish structures “wrap-rib” large deployable bleached white gold colored mesh covered receiving dish antenna design of about 350 feet in diameter with a total spacecraft mass of in excess of an estimated 10,000 pounds for the Titan-4A Centaur and 12,700 pounds for the Titan-4B Centaur. TRUMPET-1’s first launch was May 3 1994 and the subsequent second launch was July 19, 1995 with the last known launch of the TRUMPET-3 on November 8, 1997.


The TRUMPET 1-3 series were designed to monitor and pick up from the ground and in flight electronic signals intelligence (ELINT), radio communications intelligence (COMINT) and radar emitters emissions intelligence (RADINT) in addition to the primary missile test telemetry intelligence (TELINT) acquisitions capabilities all coming under the general SIGINT heading. They were fully dedicated mission operations that were highly successful in acquiring SIGINT through the larger mission general SIGINT “wrap-rib” white gold colored mesh covered reflector dishes. Its primary mission was TELINT intercepts of Soviet missile flight test telemetry traffic across the former Soviet Union missile test ranges out into the Pacific Ocean.


The technology for these SIGINT spacecraft fulfilled the need for larger more sophisticated systems able to do multiple missions at the same time. The technology for these SIGINT spacecraft were slow in coming on line development wise but later proved out highly successfully once the technology was perfected. Like any new technology program it had its issues that slowed its initial progress.


Each gravity gradient stabilized spacecraft was about 350 feet in diameter with the dish attached to gimbals for steering from the command, communication, control and intelligence, power bus. The TRUMPET dish did not cover the entire visible surface of the earth but covered much more than it’s MAGNUM/ORION or JUMPSEAT predecessors and thus the dishes were presumable set on gimbals to monitor specific points or objects of interest such as ballistic missile flight test telemetry. This would thus require several spacecraft to accomplish this monitoring task over the full range of the ICBM’s flight test."
 

Orionblamblam

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If you're putting it in space, why not save the effort of landing it on the moon and just put in a halo orbit around the Earth-Moon L2? Probably more economical than lowering stuff back down another gravity well.
Building on the lunar surface has advantages:
1: You're 50% protected from radiation and meteoroids
2: You're on a stable foundation
3: Repair, modification, upgrades can be done by humans in short order
4: It can be controlled by humans, locally
5: Little risk of attitude control systems going wonky or outright failing
6: Rather than lowering mass down a gravity well, if you do lunar industrialization right you're largely using mass created locally
7: YOU'RE BUILDING ON THE MOON
 

jeffb

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This is very disappointing. It's difficult to understand how those in charge could let this come to pass, but here we are.
 

Orionblamblam

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(remember the article of the American scientific opposition from Scientific American 2015 on the cut by the scientific mafia close to the American government of the budget for the construction of three Super-Large Telescopes, which are not even built by the foundation). That is, this disaster is convenient for pro-Trump American bureaucrats who despise science, they love bourgeois magazines Robb Report and and prefer riding on the "Gulf Streams" with shooters of "white-skinned blue-blooded gentlemen" in the style of the movie "Antebellum".

 

Flyaway

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Archibald

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This time it is really the end of the road, for Arecibo... :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

FighterJock

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This time it is really the end of the road, for Arecibo... :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I can agree with you on that point Archibald, I cannot see Arecibo recovering from this latest setback that is for certain. The Chinese FAST will now be the only radio telescope of its kind left in the world which will be sad.
 

Flyaway

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This time it is really the end of the road, for Arecibo... :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I can agree with you on that point Archibald, I cannot see Arecibo recovering from this latest setback that is for certain. The Chinese FAST will now be the only radio telescope of its kind left in the world which will be sad.
Well have a look at the Twitter thread I posted above earlier today as regards what might be next for the site.
 

FighterJock

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This time it is really the end of the road, for Arecibo... :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I can agree with you on that point Archibald, I cannot see Arecibo recovering from this latest setback that is for certain. The Chinese FAST will now be the only radio telescope of its kind left in the world which will be sad.
Well have a look at the Twitter thread I posted above earlier today as regards what might be next for the site.

I hope that the reconstruction of the Arecibo happens. Let's see what happens next as to funding.
 
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