GREEN BANK, W.Va. — Operations of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pocahontas County are being suspended because of the partial federal government shutdown.

The idling of operations there started on Friday night.

NRAO officials said, four days into the shutdown, there was not enough funding to keep operations going at the West Virginia site along with those in New Mexico and Virginia.

An estimated 120 employees in Pocahontas County will be on unpaid furlough until the shutdown ends.  Many of them work for Associated Universities which receives federal funding from the National Science Foundation.

As of Friday afternoon, there were no indications of movement from Capitol Hill on a compromise spending bill to allow for a full restart of government operations.  The shutdown started on Tuesday which was the beginning of the new fiscal year.

A secondary telescope at Green Bank, being used as a downlink for a Russian radio astronomy experiment, will continue to operate.

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  • Rafael Cruzzz natural born canadian

    Hope the dish does not pick up messages on this board, no intelligent life forms on here! (Except m of course)

  • DWL

    Then why did they aim all the dishes at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in search of an alien? Illegal alien that is! They still could find intelligent life. Kenya is missing their village idiot.

  • will

    SAD You people in Washington fix it NOW!!

  • Shadow

    Is there any website where the results of the Science from this telescope is recounted? Please advise.

  • Magic Mike

    They were planning on shutting it down anyway.

    • Wowbagger


      Another part of the Byrd legacy bites the dust!

  • Tim C

    What will the aliens that we're not listening?