West Virginia’s congressional delegation provided information Thursday on how the public can weigh in on the future of the Green Bank Observatory radio telescope in Pocahontas County.
The National Science Foundation will hold two public meetings on November 9th and accept written public comments until November 25th. The National Science Foundation is conducting a review of the observatory because of budget constraints.
The NSF is proposing different alternatives for the future of the facility that the public can comment on. Among those alternatives is collaborating with other parties in science and education so Green Bank can reduce its funding from the NSF.
Senator Joe Manchin said he hopes citizens turn out for the public meetings because of what the observatory means to the state.
“Our state takes enormous pride in the awe-inspiring scientific research performed at the observatory and I am doing everything in my power to protect and preserve the observatory for future generations,” Manchin said.
The NSF has also proposed mothballing of facilities or even deconstruction of the site. According to state officials, the roughly $8M that the NSF invests in the observatory generates nearly $30 million every year for the local economy.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito said she’s been fighting for a while to make sure Green Bank gets the funding it needs.
” I’ve been proud to support Green Bank Observatory and astronomy research through my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and I hope all West Virginians will join me in fighting for its future by attending a public meeting and submitting written comments,” Moore Capito said.
The public meetings November 9th will be at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., both at the Green Bank Science Center, in Pocahontas County.