The Arecibo telescope suffered a fatal collapse, which broke it to pieces.
The famous Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico, once the location of the James Bond Golden Eye film, finally collapsed on Tuesday when its 900-ton receiving platform fell to the 140-meter antenna below. Engineers recently warned about the dilapidated state of the huge structure, and only last month the U.S. National Science Foundation announced that the facility would be dismantled.
The two cables that held the platform above the radio dish broke down this year, and on Tuesday morning the structure finally failed. Photographs showed dust clouds rising in the air and the remnants of telescope tools scattered around the area after the crash.
“We can confirm that the platform fell and that we have no reports of casualties. The loss of the Arecibo telescope is a big loss for the world, but it’s more of a loss for Puerto Rico. It’s the symbol of our island,” said AFP Rob Margetta, an observatory spokesman.
The telescope was one of the largest in the world, a tool for many astronomical discoveries since the 1960s, and was also famous for its dramatic scale and settings.