The world famous radio-telescope at Jodrell Bank, UK, utilized extensively by both Russia and America in their race into space, is undergoing its first major overhaul since it came into use three years ago.
GV. The radio telescope.
TV. Men in network of girders.
Interviewer; "I know roughly what's involved in overhauling a motor car or say a bicycle but how do you go about overhauling a 2,000 ton telescope?"
Mr. Husband; "Oh, it's very much the same thing. First of all after turning the bowl over we tied it up with heavy cables, battle ship morning cables, and then we jacked it up with hydraulic jacks so that we can inspect the bearings, remove them if we like. For instance, up at the top of the tower there, that five storey building, you can see a great bent girder that is the main driving gear wheel for rotating the bowl. Then down blow, we have the bogies on which the telescope rotates. We can jack those up and inspect the wheels then at the centre pivot right in the centre on which the whole structure revolves, that again just by jacking up we can take it to pieces and inspect it and put it back."
Interviewer: "There are some plates missing out of the bowl of the telescope, why is that?"
Mr. Husband; "Oh that is the secret of a radio telescope to have the bowl as perfect in shape as possible, and in that narrow slit we had some very slightly bent plates which we have taken out and were are now putting them back. About 1/2 inch of curvature to correct in 250ft."
Interviewer; "And what is the effect of that correction?"
Mr. Husband; "Oh its very slight, it is very hard to measure but we do aim at something approaching perfection."
Interviewer; "This will be able to go on tracking space probes and containing its other important experiment before another overhaul?"
Mr. Husband; "Oh well now, I think now that we know as much as we do about it, it should go on for another five years before we start giving it a real once over."
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Background: The world famous radio-telescope at Jodrell Bank, UK, utilized extensively by both Russia and America in their race into space, is undergoing its first major overhaul since it came into use three years ago. The giant 250ft in diameter reflector bowl has been turned upside down so that painters and riveters can repair and service it without using scaffolding.
Mr. Husband, the engineer responsible for the telescope's construction, explained the job in an interview Aug. 14.