Famous James Bond 'GoldenEye' radio telescope smashed by falling cable

The famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was badly damaged this week after a three-inch cable snapped and fell into the dish.

The observatory is one of the biggest radio telescopes in the world and is used to scan the cosmos for signs of alien life.

It was also featured in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye where it served as the main villain’s lair.

The accident happened at around 2.45am local time on Monday when the cable, which was supporting a metal platform, broke and fell. It caused a 100-foot gash in the telescope’s 1,000-foot dish and meant the entire facility had to be taken offline.

‘We have a team of experts assessing the situation,’ said Francisco Cordova, the director of the observatory.

‘Our focus is assuring the safety of our staff, protecting the facilities and equipment, and restoring the facility to full operations as soon as possible, so it can continue to assist scientists around the world.’

The facility, which is home to one of the most powerful telescopes on the planet, is used by scientists around the world to conduct research in the areas of atmospheric sciences, planetary sciences, radio astronomy and radar astronomy.

Arecibo Observatory has endured many hurricanes, tropical storms and earthquakes since it was built 50 years ago.

Repairs from Hurricane Maria in 2017 are ongoing. Through it all, the facility has continued to contribute to significant breakthroughs in space research in the area of gravitational waves, asteroid characterisation and planetary exploration.

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