Foundation considers options for Green Bank Observatory

GREEN BANK, W.Va. - The National Science Foundation is evaluating options for West Virginia's Green Bank Observatory, ranging from collaboration with outside partners to continue its science and education mission to demolishing it.

The observatory, located by the Monongahela National Forest, includes a 100-meter diameter single-dish radio telescope, instrumentation for astronomy and astrophysics, office and laboratory buildings, a visitor and education facility and lodging facilities for visiting scientists.

It has about 100 year-round employees and 50,000 annual visitors.

The foundation, which in 2012 provided 95 per cent of its funding, has been reducing its financial support.

It will hold a public meeting Nov. 30 at the Green Bank Science Center to discuss its draft report.

Other options include collaborations to operate it as a technology and education park, mothballing the facilities and continuing support.

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