An open letter to the U.S. House of Representatives

Save the Arecibo Observatory

27 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

Member of Congress, The Arecibo Observatory (AO) is a radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University of Central Florida (UCF). For more than 50 years it has led groundbreaking research in its three major areas of research: radio astronomy, space and atmospheric sciences, and planetary sciences. During this time, it has led to Nobel prize winning science as well as crucial support to planetary defense by detecting and characterizing near-Earth asteroids. AO is unique in the world for its range and sensitivity and thus crucial for space mission support, planetary defense, and science. On November 19th 2020, the NSF declared that they plan to decommission the 305-meter telescope because of two cable failures that hold the suspended platform, and they deemed the cable repairs outside of their risk tolerance. The Army Corps of Engineer and Air Force could help with the repairs, but are not allowed to do so without NSF's permission. Decommissioning the observatory will be a very expensive undertaking with potential environmental effects, which could cause irreversible damage the federally protected land where the observatory sits on. I ask that you to please declare a State of Emergency so the Army Corps of Engineers can be granted permission to work on the repairs of the Arecibo Observatory. I understand that it has been a very hard year, but please act swiftly to help avoid a catastrophe to Puerto Rico and the whole scientific community. To better understand the magnitude of the Arecibo Observatory’s influence and inspiration please view social media under #WhatAreciboMeansToMe. Sincerely,

First sent on November 21, 2020 by Alex

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