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The biggest telescope begins its search for alien life

The final cost of this project was $180 million and scientists hope the FAST telescope will play a key role in the discovery of alien life

By Lana Jelic on Sep 25, 2016 at 07:33 pm CDT - 1 min, 21 secs reading time

The world's largest telescope had begun operating in China and it should help humanity search for alien life. The 500m Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is located in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, southwest China. It consists of a fixed 500m dish constructed in a natural depression in the landscape.

The biggest telescope begins its search for alien life | TweakTown.com

It is the world's largest single-dish radio telescope (Arecibo Observatory held that title for 53 years) and the second largest radio telescope (after the Russian RATAN-600, which has a sparsely filled aperture). The final cost of the FAST telescope was $180 million and it took five years to build it. Its primary goal is to search for alien life but it will also be developed as a tourist attraction. Currently there are 71 people working for the FAST project.

The facility was opened at a ceremony on Sunday but it will take up to three years to calibrate the instrument so it can become fully operational. FAST will help us 'listen' to the universe and it will be able to detect radio waves from space. Scientists hope the FAST will play a key role in the discovery of alien life.

China has big plans for their space program and FAST is one of the projects that should show the power and technological progress of this country. Beijing plans to send their first crew to the Moon by the end of 2020 and there are also plans to set a permanent orbital station, like International Space Station.

Last updated: Sep 1, 2017 at 05:15 am CDT

Lana Jelic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lana Jelic

Lana has a passion for technology and science. She spends her time looking for the latest and most interesting technology and science news. Her passion is in gadgets, wearables, and other cool and interesting applications of technology or science. She also spends her free time gaming in MMOs like World of Warcraft. She has prior experience covering technology for publications and breaking news. If she’s not doing either, you might just find her exploring the metaverse in VR. Lana wants to expand TweakTown’s coverage of mobile, wearables and gadgets while also bringing her experience with science and general tech to TweakTown. Her area of coverage is around science, technology, smartphones, wearables, and general neat gadgets. She hopes to one day be able to drive around in her self-driving car while she schedules an appointment for a SpaceX trip to the moon on her smartwatch.

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