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RIP GoldenEye Telescope

The Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed this week after several months of mechanical trouble. The world's second largest single-dish radio telescope was made famous not only for its aid in many scientific discoveries, but also its appearances in the James Bond film and video game GoldenEye, as well as a handful of science fiction films.

As Kotaku reported, Arecibo's 900-ton equipment platform collapsed and fell 500 feet into the dish below after its last few remaining support cables failed. No injuries were reported. The National Science Foundation, which oversees the research facility, said in a press statement that it was "saddened" by the development, according to NPR. "As we move forward, we will be looking for ways to assist the scientific community and maintain our strong relationship with the people of Puerto Rico," the statement read.

The NSF had previously feared a collapse and announced in mid-November that it planned to demolish the GoldenEye telescope due to catastrophic damage. The troubles began over the summer when an auxiliary cable slipped from its socket and crashed into the dish below, later followed by a snapped main cable and other loosened cables. The NSF deemed the structure unsafe to repair and planned to destroy it while leaving the Arecibo Observatory itself intact and open. Because of the recent collapse, plans for the observatory's visitor center are now in flux, as IGN reported.

The Arecibo Observatory telescope was used as a massive prop in 1995's GoldenEye film, where Pierce Brosnan's James Bond confronted former MI6 agent Alec Trevelyan, portrayed by Sean Bean, in the final scene. The men dangled from the dish's satellite before Trevelyan fell 400 feet into the dish itself and miraculously survived — until a suspended receiver fell on him and exploded. This scene inspired the "Cradle" level in Rare's 1997 Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007. Beyond the Bond appearances, the telescope could also be seen in science fiction films Species and Contract, as well as an episode of The X-Files.

The telescope contributed to many scientific breakthroughs since its completion in 1963. In addition, the structure and the Arecibo Observatory as a whole have served as a high-traffic tourist attraction in Puerto Rico and a source of shelter during hurricanes. The Arecibo Observatory telescope will be remembered for its presence in science, humanitarianism, and pop culture. 

James Bond will have to find a new piece of scientific equipment to battle his enemies on for the upcoming Project 007 video game from Hitman developer IO Interactive, the first Bond game in nearly a decade.