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Arecibo Observatory radio telescope, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope, National Astronomy And Ionosphere Center, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

As the Arecibo facility is owned by the United States, direct donations by private or corporate donors cannot be made. However, as a non-profit, 403(c)(3) charitable institution, Cornell University (and in the future, SRI International) will accept contributions on behalf of Arecibo Observatory. It has been suggested by at least one member of the NAIC staff that Google purchase advertising space on the dish as one means of securing additional non-government funds.
In September 2007, in an open letter to researchers, the NSF clarified the status of the budget issue for NAIC, stating that the present plan, if implemented, may hit the targeted budgetary revision. No mention of private funding was made. However, it need be noted that the NSF is undertaking studies to mothball, or deconstruct the facility and return it to its natural setting in the event that the budget target is not achieved. In November 2007, The Planetary Society urged Congress to prevent the Arecibo Observatory from closing due to insufficient funds, since the radar contributes heavily to the accuracy of asteroid impact prediction, and they believe continued operation will reduce the cost of mitigation (that is, deflection of a near-Earth asteroid on collision to Earth), should that be necessary. Also in November of that year the The New York Times described the consequences of the budget cuts at the site.
In July 2008, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that the funding crisis, due to federal budget cuts, was still very much alive. The SETI@home program is using the telescope as a primary source for the research. The program is urging people to send a letter to their political representatives, in support of full federal funding of the observatory.
NAIC received US$3.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was used for infrastructure improvements and for a second, much smaller, antenna to be used for VLBI and student training. This allotment was an increase of around 30% over the FY2009 budget. However, the FY2010 funding request by NSF was cut by US$1.2 million (−12.5% over the non-ARRA supported FY2009 budget) in light of their continued plans to reduce funding. The 2011 NSF budget was reduced by a further US$1.6 million, −15% with respect to 2010, with a further US$1 million reduction projected by FY2014. In addition, "NSF will decertify NAIC as a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) upon award of the next cooperative agreement for its management and operation."

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Keywords:#arecibo #observatory #radio #telescope #national #astronomy #ionosphere #center #puerto #rico
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Date added:Aug 17, 2012
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