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Anonymous Coward writes "Arecibo loses funding, may close by 2011. The New York Times (11/20, Chang) reported that the Arecibo radio telescope's annual budget has been "slashed to $8 million from $10.5 million," which will decrease the amount of time that the telescope is operational. "A quarter of its staff was laid off last year," and Arecibo, which is located in Puerto Rico, could possibly be completely closed in four years, according to the "National Science Foundation (NSF), which pays for the operation of the telescope." This comes after "a review panel for the foundation's astronomy division two years ago" suggested cutting Arecibo's financing by 25 percent as a way to pay for new facilities. There has been "[a]n outcry" in response to the "decision, particularly from planetary scientists" who argued that the panel "overlooked Arecibo's role in cataloging potential dangers from asteroids." The Times notes that in Arecibo's favor is the fact that it "may be much cheaper to keep...open" than dismantle, which "could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.""
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