The SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array has been forced offline due to lack of funding, essentially crippling the organization's hunt for extraterrestrial communications.
In a note to supporters by SETI Institute chief executive Tom Pierson earlier this week, Pierson noted that reduced funding by both the National Science Foundation and U.C. Berkeley had put the telescope array, which searches the sky for radio transmissions, into "hibernation".
"Hibernation means that, starting this week, the equipment is unavailable for normal observations and is being maintained in a safe state by a significantly reduced staff," Pierson wrote.
Until SETI can raise additional funding, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) will remain offline. It takes about $1.5 million per year top operate the ATA, Pierson wrote, and an additional $1 million per year to cover the additional costs of the SETI science effort. SETI referred possible donors to its donations page.
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