Monday, February 20, 2006

Volcano Telescope? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
It looks as if the United States and its southern neighbor Mexico are about to partner in order to build a massive telescope ontop of a volcano. Although Mexico is grateful for the financial partnership, they do not appreciate the source of funding.

(Red Orbit) [T]he fact that most of the U.S. funding comes from the Defense Department has worried some Mexicans who are leery of any military connections with their powerful northern neighbor.

"We want Mexico to be in the vanguard of scientific advance, but it would be better if all the money came from non-military sources," said Rosa Maria Aviles, a federal lawmaker on the lower house of Congress' Science and Technology Committee. "We are a pacifist nation."

The Pentagon often funds scientific projects in order to reap the benefits that these endeavors produce. The telescope will cost an estimated $120 million and be constructed 15,000 feet ontop of the Sierra Negra within the central state of Puebla.

(Red Orbit) "We will get incredible new insight into how galaxies were first formed," said project scientist David Hughes of Mexico's National Astrophysics Optics and Electronics Institute. "Once we start operating, we should be making breakthrough discoveries on an almost daily basis."

Scientists also will be able to collect new data on nearer galaxies such as Andromeda and examine all its stars and planets to see what may lurk there.

Hopefully this telescope can be used to not only view the stars that orbit other galaxies, but also be able to locate possible worlds for colonization for the human race.

Note: Ironically, building this telescope at such an height has caused some "issues," as villagers employed by the government had trouble bringing up the needed materials in their vehicles to construct the project. They reportably had to switch to using mules, an animal bred for that altitude.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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