At around 2:45 a.m. Monday, a three-inch auxiliary cable that helped support a metal platform broke, according to a news release from the University of Central Florida. UCF manages the facility together with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises, Inc.
When the cable broke, it created a 100-foot gill on the telescope’s 1,000-foot-long reflector plate, according to the UCF. It also damaged about six to eight panels along the Gregorian Observatory Cup, which is suspended above the reflective plate.
The broken cable also distorted a platform used to enter the Gregorian Cup, making damage assessment even more difficult.
“People at the facility are working with engineers and other experts to evaluate and provide equipment at the facility,” Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF’s Research Office and vice president of the College of Graduate Studies, told CNN. “It started (Tuesday) and is continuing this week.”
Gonzalez Kotala says they hope to have more information at a press conference on Friday
The telescope has been an integral part of a number of scientific discoveries since its opening in 1963. It became even more popular in popular culture when it appeared in the movie 007, “Goldeneye” in 1995.
The Arecibo Observatory has survived a number of hurricanes and even earthquakes.
“Through all, the facility has continued to contribute to significant advances in space exploration in the field of gravitational waves, asteroid characterization, planetary exploration and more,” the UCF said in a statement.