SPAIN has threatened to pull the plug on funding the world’s biggest telescope after its bid to host the astrological innovation was snubbed in favour of Chile.
After losing out to its Latin American rivals, Spanish ministers demanded “economic guarantees” on the telescope’s construction.
It came after it was decided that the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) would be built in Cerro Armazones, near Paranal, Chile.
“Before deciding on our participation in the construction of the telescope in Chile, we demand complete economic guarantees on the viability of its construction.”
“Before deciding on our participation in the construction of the telescope in Chile, we demand complete economic guarantees on the viability of its construction,” said Cristina Garmendia, Science and Innovation Minister.
In a last-ditch attempt to win the vote, Spain had offered to stump up 300 million euros for the ELT to be built at La Palma in the Canary Islands.
However, it was decided that conditions were more favourable in Chile’s northern Atacama Desert region for the project due to begin in 2018.
It boasts cloud-free skies 320 nights a year and extremely low humidity.