Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory receives $19M from NASA to protect Earth from asteroids

LatAm List – The most sensitive and powerful planetary radar system in the world is located in northern Puerto Rico, in the Arecibo Observatory. This station recently received a $19M grant through NASA to study near-earth objects (NEOs) that could either become a threat or landing targets for future space missions.

The observatory is managed jointly by University of Central Florida (UCF), Universidad Ana G. Mendez, and Yang Enterprises. The grant will be used to operate, update, and maintain the current radar system for up to 800 hours a year so that NASA can identify potential threats to our planet.

The grant also includes support for STEM education for high school students in Puerto Rico, providing 30 students with 16 classes and visits to the observatory to learn about astronomical science.

From UCF:

“Arecibo plays an important role in discovery and advancing our knowledge of our solar system and our universe,” said Francisco Cordova, director of the facility. “We also play a critical role in helping to protect our planet through providing knowledge and unique expertise. It’s part of our mission and one of the reasons we are so passionate about our work.”

The international team of scientists includes researchers from Brazil, Colombia, USA, and Canada.

Read more on the UCF website.

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