FAST's adaptive cable-net supportive structure
Location of FAST
3D model of FAST (Image: arXiv)
Since its completion in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, with a diameter of 305 m (1,000 ft) and a collecting area of 73,000 square meters (790,000 sq ft), has been the largest single-aperture radio telescope ever constructed. But Arecibo is set to lose its title with construction now underway in Guizhou Province in southern China of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). Upon its expected completion in 2016, FAST will have a surface area of over 195,000 square meters (2.1 million sq ft) and will be able to see more than three times further into space and survey the skies ten times faster than Arecibo.
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