SETI Receives Over $200,000 in Donations; Allen Telescope Array Back in Action
August 9, 2011 10:01 AM
comment(s) - last by
In June, SETI and its fans in Silicon Valley organized a website for donations called SETIstars
Back in April of this year, the
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI)
was temporarily shut down due to reduced federal dollars and a state budget crisis. But after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from fans, SETI is now back in action.
SETI, which is located in Mountain View, California, searches the skies for
through the use of the Allen Telescope Array located 290 miles northeast of San Francisco. There are 42 telescopes that measure 20-feet-wide in this array, and they operate 24 hours per day. Research and development of the telescopes began in 2001 after a $11.5 million contribution from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and construction of the telescopes began in 2004 after a $13.5 million donation from Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen. The Allen Telescope Array became fully functional in 2007.
On April 22, 2011, lack of funding put the telescopes on hold. SETI CEO Tom Pierson even described staff cuts that would take place. Loss of funding from the University of California at Berkeley was the biggest financial hit, since it was SETI's partner in operating the array.
But believers of the unknown didn't take this lying down. In June, SETI and its fans in Silicon Valley organized a website for donations called
. By August 3, the site had
$200,000 in donations
, which is what SETI needed to continue operations. Since then, another $4,000 in contributions have rolled in.
"We're not completely out of the woods yet, but everybody's smiling here," said Pierson. "We think we're going to come out of hibernation and be solid for the next five months or so, and during those five months we're going to take care of calendar year 2013 and put that under our belt."
A few big names that contributed to SETIstars were Larry Niven, science fiction writer who created the "Ringworld" series; Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut who flew around the moon in 1968; and Jodie Foster, actress who portrayed a SETI researcher in the movie "Contact."
"It is absolutely irresponsible of the human race not to be searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence," wrote Anders in a message with his donation.
While this $200,000+ has helped pull SETI
out of hibernation
, it's not the end of the financial line needed to get SETI into the clear. Pierson noted that the institute is looking to cut operating costs and the cost of science operations, which equates to about $2.5 million annually. A new operating model is needed now that UC Berkeley is out of the picture.
In the future, SETI astronomers hope to use the Allen Telescope Array to listen for signals from NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission, which identifies planetary systems. But this project would need about $5 million in order to be pursued. Also, Pierson hopes to work with the U.S. Air Force, who could use the array to track "orbital objects" that may be a threat to satellites.
Until then, SETI researchers are just happy to have an operational telescope array once again.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Start STI instead.
8/9/2011 7:47:29 PM
SETI isn't looking for extra-galactic signals. Just not practical. There's plenty of territory to search, here in the Milky Way...
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
SETI Suspends Allen Telescope Array Operations
April 27, 2011, 12:07 PM
SETI Continues the Hunt for Extraterrestrial Life
October 18, 2006, 2:46 AM
Scientist Confirm Men are More Likely to Die in "Idiotic" Ways
December 17, 2014, 1:07 PM
Shoppers Surprised to Find Cards Against Humanity's Bullsh*t is Real Feces
December 16, 2014, 11:14 PM
Air Force Worries Hot Fuel Could Harm F-35, "Proactively" Paints Trucks Shiny
December 11, 2014, 9:06 AM
McDonald's is Testing Tablet-Based Burger Customization at 30 Franchises
December 10, 2014, 11:30 AM
Detroit Pulls Together Amidst Massive Blackout
December 2, 2014, 3:57 PM
Some Dark Side For Your Black Friday: Official Star Wars Ep. VII Trailer Lands
November 28, 2014, 1:02 PM
Most Popular Articles
BlackBerry Classic Sells Out Online (Seriously, It Has) for North America
December 15, 2014, 7:07 PM
After Coming So Close to Recovering, Northern White Rhino is Nearly Extinct
December 15, 2014, 11:30 AM
Peter Sunde is Sickened by Today's Pirate Bay, Say Internet Activism is Dying
December 15, 2014, 6:02 AM
Quick Note: Windows Phone Finally Gets Candy Crush Saga
December 13, 2014, 2:03 PM
Paramount Bans Team America Screenings, Cowers Submissively to North Korea
December 18, 2014, 10:26 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information