FAST telescope getting tourist viewing platform

Updated: 2016-06-07 09:43


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GUIYANG - Tourists will have a vantage point on the vast dish of the world's largest telescope from an observation deck being developed near the awesome structure in southwest China's Guizhou province.

When complete in September, the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or "FAST," will measure 500 meters in diameter, dwarfing Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 meters in diameter.

Tourist facilities with a budget of 480 million yuan (about 73.3 million U.S. dollars) are being built for science fans to observe FAST, said project manager Qian Yiquan.

With the telescope requiring radio silence in a five-kilometer radius, the observation deck is at the top of a mountain nearby.

The deck, parking lots, and a road wending its way to the remote location will be finished by September, Qian said.

Construction of FAST started in March 2011, with an investment of 1.2 billion yuan. The telescope will be used to detect and collect signals and data from the universe.