The SETI Institute, the group in Mountain View, Calif., that had built an array of radio telescopes to search for extraterrestrial life, has set up a fundraising drive to revive its project.The group ran out of money for operating expenses in April and had to put the array in hibernation.
According to the site’s blog:
When the SETI Institute put the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) into hibernation a couple of months back due to lack of funds for the project, we were devastated. The shutdown could not have come at a worse moment.
In just the past year, scientists have discovered planets in the habitable zones of distant stars — worlds that may be similar to ours. And every month we are discovering more of these planets, thanks to new observation techniques and incredible instruments like the Kepler Space Telescope. It’s the first time in history we know where we might look for intelligent life beyond earth. Instead of sweeping the entire sky, we can point our instruments at specific regions of space relatively more likely to contain radio signals created by other intelligent civilizations.
It’s a pivotal point in our search; it could even turn out to be a pivotal point in human history.
And yet we are stuck.
The group says that the outpouring of support from all corners of the globe for the project in the wake of its going into hibernation was staggering, and that this fundraising effort is an attempt to create a community and focus that support.
The goal is to raise the $200,000 by August to get the telescopes running again.