Caribbean Radio Telescope That Appeared In A Bond Film Collapses

This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. (Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: A radio telescope in the Caribbean, that once appeared in a James Bond film, has collapsed.

The Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed on December 1, 2020 when its 900-ton receiver platform fell 450 feet and smashed onto the radio dish below.

Engineers had recently warned of the huge structure’s decrepit condition, and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) announced only last month that it would be dismantled.

In August, the observatory started crumbling after an auxiliary cable snapped, causing damage to the telescope’s dish and the receiver platform that hung above it, according to the U.S. National Science Foundation, the federal agency that owns the observatory. In an attempt to prevent “an uncontrolled collapse” in order to “safely preserve other parts of the observatory that could be damaged or destroyed,” the agency said it began its plan to decommission the telescope in mid-November.

But the cables failed before the agency was able to preserve the telescope. The 57-year-old telescope was featured in the James Bond film ‘Golden Eye,’ when Pierce Brosnan’s 007, famously scaled the structure while grappling with Sean Bean’s traitorous 006.