SETI: Allen Telescope Array Placed in Hibernation Due To Lack of Funding

By on Apr 27, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, United States, World Comments

The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) used by Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute was put into “hibernation” due to lack of funding, several international news sites reported on Tuesday.

Allen Telescope Array
The Allen Telescope Array
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“Effective this week, the [Allen Telescope Array] has been placed into hibernation due to funding shortfalls for operations of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory where the [array] is located,” SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson said in an open letter sent last week to project donors. “Unfortunately, today’s government budgetary environment is very difficult, and new solutions must be found.”

The facility needs about $2m-$3m a year to function and to keep the scientific research programs going, according to SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak. It was reported that the institute is negotiating with U.S. Air Force for a potential partnership.

ATA is a series of 42 small dishes managed by SETI Institute and the University of California used for researching radio astronomy and alien life forms.

The array started scanning for signals from extraterrestrial life in October 2007, reports said.

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