Since science and pretty much any ambitious, groundbreaking endeavor can hardly survive without generous patrons, a new website seeks to attract donor funding that will boost the faltering SETI program. What’s at stake are the SETI dishes ATA (Allen Telescope Array) in NoCal whose sole task is to find out if there’s life beyond the Earth. Surprise, surprise, the amount isn’t very large for such a high tech endeavor–SETI needs $200,000 to resurrect the ATA. So far only about $25,000 has been raised.
Seen north isn’t the ATA, rather it’s the giant bowl in Puerto Rico that’s the more iconic piece of hardware associated with the program. (China is building its own huge-er version.) The ATA network was actually shutdown in April after the funding just dried up. Now volunteers and enthusiasts are spearheading a money drive to get the necessary cash to revive the giant science project.
The site is setistars.org and there’s a powerful urge among the participants and SETI personnel to get the ATA network up and running once more. Thanks to previous discoveries in recent years. SETI enthusiasts believe that now more than ever humanity is on the cusp of finding out we’re not alone and out there is a planet similar to ours, ripe for colonization.