CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have announced that $5.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will go towards foundation repairs for the Green Bank Observatory’s (GBO) Green Bank Telescope (GBT).

“West Virginia has a long history with groundbreaking space research, from Katherine Johnson to the Rocket Boys. The Green Bank Telescope is a critical tool for the national and global astronomical community, and I am pleased NSF is investing $5.3 million to upgrade its foundation and replace key equipment,” said Senator Manchin.

As many components are nearing the end of their planned lifetime. the funding will be used to purchase 48 new wear plates, and replace grout in sections through 2026. Two new techniques to mitigate cracking in the wear plates will also be tested and possibly implemented.

“This commitment from the National Science Foundation to the Green Bank Telescope is welcomed, needed, and worthwhile,” said Senator Capito. “I am thankful for the NSF’s assistance in stabilizing the Green Bank Telescope so that the pursuit of scientific discovery can continue in Pocahontas County.”

The GBT is one of the world’s largest moving structures, with 16 wheels carrying 17 million pounds on a rotating steel track, and it has been instrumental for research.