The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), known for being one of the largest radio telescopes in the world, has been officially functional since January 2020.
With a 500-meter structure, FAST will be able to start looking for life in space as early as September. FAST is one of the priorities in China’s space strategy, and its development has been around US $180 million.
FAST took about five years to build and is located in Guizhou province, one of the poorest and most mountainous areas in China.
Its surface, composed of 4,450 triangular reflectors, has the highest sensitivity for detecting signals from space, serving to observe phenomena related to black matter and even to look for extraterrestrial life.
However, its construction involved a particular “cost”. About 9,100 people residing within a 5 km radius of the structure were forced to leave their homes. In question would be the negative effects of the field of sound and electromagnetic waves on the surrounding population.