China, March 22, 2017: Southwest China’s Guizhou Province plans to spend 5 billion yuan (725 million U.S. dollars) to turn the world’s largest radio telescope into a tourist resort.
A total of 13 projects will include a learning center on radio astronomy, geological park detailing the karst landscape and a sci-fi-themed hotel, said an official with Pingtang county government, where the Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is located.
FAST, the world’s largest single-dish telescope with a diameter of a half kilometer, is located at the Dawodang depression, a natural karst basin in Pingtang, a once impoverished area in mountainous Guizhou.
The FAST went into use last September and currently hosts around 2,000 visitors a day, free of charge.
“Making use of current public attention to the FAST, the province will build a resort devoted to astronomy and geology to bring economic development to Pingtang County and its surrounding area,” said the official.