As if it didn't appear perilous enough already, the Arecibo Observatory's telescope — famously known as the setting to GoldenEye's final fight — is now hanging by one fewer sturdy support after an earthquake last month seriously damaged one of its cables. According to Universe Today, the iconic telescope's receiver is suspended 450 feet above its dish by 18 cables. One of those 18 cables was apparently known to be problematic due to its rigidity, and it was that cable that was damaged after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake began in Puerto Rico just 37 miles away.
A temporary repair should be completed next month
Universe Today reports that the observatory is moving quickly to repair the damage, with an estimated completion date of March 11th. Repairs will be relatively inexpensive for now — reportedly less than $100,000 — but the observatory intends to use this opportunity to begin a series of longer-term repairs that will presumably bring the damaged cable up to the caliber of the remaining 17.
Even with the damage, Universe Today reports that the telescope has remained operational, albeit to a limited extent. The observatory is reportedly now using the telescope less frequently and only making slight movements. Materials for its repair are already en route to Arecibo, where the observatory's own staff should be able to begin work on the cable shortly.