"With the appropriate funding, we have a viable path towards reconstruction."
Researchers working at the Arecibo Observatory, which collapsed earlier this month, are calling for the massive radio telescope to be rebuilt, NBC News reports.
For many in the scientific community, the collapse crushed hopes and dreams as well\.
“I was very sad, very disappointed,” fourth year physics student at the University of Puerto Rico Génesis Ferrer told NBC. Ferrer had earned a fellowship from the Puerto Rico NASA Space Consortium to study red dwarf stars using the Arecibo Observatory.
“I worked so hard to finally get accepted to work in the Arecibo Observatory,” Ferrer added. “And now that I got accepted, I can’t work in it.”
“It’s a tragedy because we’re seeing our dreams fading away,” said Kevin Ortiz, another fourth year physics student at the university.
We Can Rebuild
Prior to the collapse, scientist coalitions on the island were collecting signatures to ask the White House to save the aging structure. Now, the same groups are turning to Congress to ask for help.
“With the appropriate funding, we have a viable path towards reconstruction,” Ortiz argued to NBC, adding that the investigations facility and the visitor’s center are still intact.
“The educational impact of the observatory is incalculable, at all levels, from professionals and college students to the high school academy and the elementary schools that visit our center,” he added.
READ MORE: Puerto Rican scientists, shattered by collapse of Arecibo Observatory, push to rebuild [NBC News]
More on the collapse: Dramatic Drone Video Shows Collapse of Alien-Hunting Observatory