The National Science Foundation released stunning theatrical video footage on Thursday, featuring the exact dramatic momentIn a 1,000-foot-wide dish below. A drone was conducting an up-close investigation of the cables, which were still held as the platform above the dish as cables cracked on Tuesday.
The video from the massive radio telescope featured both drone footage and a view from a camera at the Visitor Center showing the stage falling into a dish just above the forest floor in Aresibo, Puerto Rico. Two massive pieces of cement towers that were attached to the cable can also be seen falling.
Two cables were broken earlier, one in August andDestabilizing the telescope.
A drone was inspecting the site, one of which was in the tower, where one of the previous cables broke, when the rest suddenly broke.
The NSF recently decided to reinstall the telescope after a second cable broke in November.
“It was a dangerous situation,” John Abruzzo, who is with an engineering consulting firm called Thornton Tomasetti, which was contracted by the NSF, told reporters on Thursday. “Those cables could fail at any time.”
On Tuesday, they did.
The NSF reports that no one was injured in the accident and the visitor center was left with only minor damage.
The telescope, working for nearly 60 years, was the backdrop to a dramatic fight scene in the 1995 James Bond film Golden Year in Pierce Brosnan. It also appeared in the 1997 Jodie Foster film Contact. But Arecibo’s true legacy lies in the many scientific discoveries that make it possible. It discovered pulsars, expanded our knowledge of Mercury, observed exoplanets and detected rapid radio bursts.