China has built the largest radio telescope in the world hoping to communicate with extraterrestrials elsewhere in the universe.
The five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), that cost $100 million to install, is located in the Pingtang county amidst the mountains. The telescope is larger than 30 football fields combined and the last piece of the giant was put together on Sunday.
According to reports, once the facility is fully operational, it is capable of picking up radio signals littering space even a 1000 light years away.
“The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life,” Xinhua news agency quoted Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The FAST is poised to succeed Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, (300 meters in diameter) as the largest telescope in the world.
The project began in 2011 and will be fully operational in September, 2016. The telescope installation, in total, cost $100 million.
Besides, China is also aiming make some greater strides in the field of space science and research. Within the year 2036, the country targets to put together a space station, of which construction activities are already under progress.