The Price of Building the Largest Radio-Telescope in China

The price for building the largest radio-telescope in China is paid by 9,000 villagers.

It seems the price for building the largest radio-telescope in China will be paid by people who have nothing to do with space science. The radio-telescope is set to become the largest in the world, but its building requires the relocation of nine thousand villagers from the area. However, the state is set to compensate those who must move from their homes.

It seems the race between countries in space is still going on today. As the United States will always be remembered as the first nation that stepped on the Moon, others wish to make achievements of their own. The next tremendously important space endeavor will be the journey to Mars, as the U.S., Russia and Europe are all hard at work to be the first to launch the spacecraft with astronauts to the red planet. However, other nations are also developing their own projects.

It appears that China wishes to become the first nation to spot intelligent alien life, and to this purpose it is building the largest radio-telescope in the world named FAST. However, in order to do so it needs to move about nine thousand residents of an area located between Pingtang County and Luodian County which are in Guizhou. Guizhou is among the top poorest provinces of China.

FAST will be designed to find and record signals from extraterrestrial worlds. Its construction will cost about $184 million and will have five hundred meters.

Xinhua, a Chinese news site, has reported that the relocation of the two thousand families must take place in order to establish a good environment for the telescope, as well as shield it from electromagnetic waves. It appears that each person will receive $1,800 as housing compensation.

This news comes pretty soon after SETI has started searching for intelligent life signals near Tabby’s star. It could be that China wishes to also scan the area even though SETI could not detect any alien signals from the star. FAST is set to detect all types of signals much more clearly than other telescopes, and from far away sources.

Chinese scientists have reported that they have successfully tested the retina of the telescope last November. The retina alone has 33 tons and is placed above the reflector dish at a height from 460 to 525 feet. Otherwise, FAST includes 4,500 triangular panels of 36 feet that create a parabolic dish of immense size.

The price for building the largest radio-telescope in China is high, but only time will tell if it was worth it and if the country will be the first to truly detect alien life in space.

Image Source: Sputnik International