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WVU invests $1M to keep Green Bank Telescope alive

Friday - 8/23/2013, 2:29pm  ET

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia University will invest $1 million over two years in the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to help keep a key resource for the world's astronomers open.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced WVU's deal Friday with the Virginia-based National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which manages the telescope for National Science Foundation.

WVU students and faculty will get 500 more hours of research time out of the arrangement.

A special review panel recommended the NSF stop funding the observatory and the Very Long Base Line Array within five years. West Virginia's congressional delegation has worked to save it.

WVU says the deal helps build WVU's leadership role in radio astronomy and raise its profile.

The 16 million-ton structure in Pocahontas County is the world's largest, fully steerable single-dish radio telescope

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