The ongoing space race focused on encountering alien life has stepped up its efforts as China prepares to build the largest telescope in the world. The country is on track to build the world’s largest radio telescope, therefore giving them a high possibility of detecting any alien broadcast from another world.
On the other hand, in order for the telescope to be built, more than 9,000 villagers are being relocated from the Pingtang and Luodian counties of Guizhou. The announcement of the relocation of more than 2,000 families from one of the poorest provinces of China was made on Tuesday and each family is paid 10,000 Yuan according to the Chinese government.
The telescope known as ‘FAST’ or Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope is designed to detect any broadcast of another intelligent world. The plans for building a massive telescope with the sole purpose of finding extraterrestrial broadcasts were announced last year by the Chinese government.
The ‘FAST’ will be able to scan up to twice more areas of the sky than the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, according to Li Di, chief scientist from China’s National Astronomical Observations. It will also have between three to five times the sensitivity, compared to the Arecibo’s telescope. With a higher capacity and a modern outlook on the building of the new device, scientists hope to find alien life through this gigantic radio telescope.
The telescope’s purpose is not only to make alien contact, but also to make their country more appealing to gifted scientists. As China is the leading nation sending students abroad, is the nation’s hope to attract some of the brightest minds in science and astronomy. And there’s no doubt the construction of the telescope will bring talented people to the country as well as serving as motivation for Chinese students to return home.
China’s ‘FAST’ relocation
The ‘FAST’ will be 1,640 feet in girth and will also have 4,500 11-metre-long panels that will reflect interplanetary radio waves. And a massive 30-tonne retina will reflect the waves while suspended in the middle of the structure. Now, China’s commitment to make contact with alien life or proving its existence would not only cost the time and resources spent, but also the lives of people.
Although each individual will be given an amount equivalent to $1,800 for the inconvenience, the Chinese government is forcing people to move away from their houses. China is calling this process a ‘mass relocation’, yet it seems more as a forced eviction as people have no choice in the matter and the country’s government has reported no resistance from villagers. Whether the villagers compensation money for their relocation will be enough or not, it remains to be seen.