China has finished constructing the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) last year and has now opened the center to the public for people to learn how the telescope works and astronomical finds in its museum.
FAST, considered as the world's largest radio telescope, was developed to search for radio waves across the galaxies to find any signs of alien life.
About 2,000 max individuals are allowed to visit the site daily. While admission fees are being waived at the moment, shuttle bus and museum entry are priced at ¥50 or roughly US$7.20 each. Entry to the telescope is free. One can view the equipment from afar and see how it measures to about 500 meters all in all - equivalent to 30 football fields, The Lonely Planet reported.
FAST costs $180 million to create and relocated 9,000 people who lived nearby the region. It took the authorities five years to have the telescope built. The Telegraph reports Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation, as saying, "The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life."
For two to three years, the telescope will be handling research on life forms. Some trials and developments will also be conducted at this stage. Whether or not tourists will go behind the scenes of every study, major activities of FAST is kept hidden in the meantime.
However, during the last quarter of 2016, the telescope was open to local and international researchers to use and help in the detection of gravitational waves by finding amino acids which would locate any trace on other galaxies.
Meanwhile, China plans to land on the moon by 2018 and orbit Mars by 2020. Two years after the country's exploration of Mars, China intends to build a permanent space station in 2022. And three years afterward, there will be more manned explorations by the country.