This week Uzbekistan and Russia will sign Road map for the construction of the Suffa radio telescope, which was suspended after the collapse of the USSR.
“The observatory completion project is estimated at US$ 60 million. A two-year project roadmap has been developed. Its signing by the President of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan Behzod Yuldashev and the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev is scheduled for October 18–19 in Tashkent during the visit of the Russian President to Uzbekistan, said the director of the Radio Observatory RT-70 of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan Gennady Shanin.
According to the document, during the two years, it is necessary to register the observatory as a subject of the international law, to draft a feasibility study and conduct de-preservation. Then it will take about three more years to complete the construction.
For 27 years, the Uzbekistan authorities contributed funds for the conservation of the facility, Shanin recalls.
“Small, but sufficient to keep the building in fair condition. In the early years of independence, it was not easy - we guarded the materials at night so that they would not be taken away. Then, by decision of the President Islam Karimov, a military post was placed at the facility, ”he noted.
According to the publication, the first observations scientists expect to spend in the years 2023-2028.
The Suffa Plateau is located at an altitude of over 2.5 thousand meters above sea level, on the border with Tajikistan. It was chosen in the 1980s as one of the best places in USSR in terms of astroclimate: there are 250 sunny days a year, rarefied air, and the atmosphere gives a minimum absorption of the radio signal. By the time of the collapse of the USSR, the builders completed the foundation works of the RT-70 telescope and erected a giant plug on it — more than a hundred-ton fork connecting the base of the telescope and its cup (mirror).