The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute was forced to suspend operations at their Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, California in April due to lack of funding. This array is a key instrument used by the organization to listen for signals or messages from extraterrestrials. In June, the organization announced a fundraising campaign called SETIStars that sought $200,000 in donations from the public to help resume operation at the Allen Telescope Array. And according to the SETIStars’ website, that goal was recently reached, allowing the organization to bring the Allen Telescope Array back online.
Tom Pierson, SETI’s CEO, told AOL that the Allen Telescope Array costs $2,500,000 a year to operate, so the donated $200,000 hardly puts a dent in that enormous bill. The fundraising goal was set at the “low” figure of $200,000 because the organization had already raised other money prior to launching the campaign.
The Daily Mail reports that actress Jody Foster, who played a SETI scientist in the movie Contact, and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders are among those who donated to the SETIStars campaign to help bring the Allen Telescope Array back online.