Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to scientists, engineers and builders on the launch.The project which started in 2011 is worth 1.2-billion-yuan (180 million U.S. dollars). The telescope’s main structure is made of 4,450-panel reflector pieces. FAST has already had a good start. In a recent trial observation, it received a set of high-quality electromagnetic waves sent from a pulsar about 1,351 light-years away. The telescope is expected to discover twice the number of pulsars as are currently known and its is highly likely to make breakthroughs in the study of gravitational waves and general relativity theory. Engineers have said it is so sensitive it could capture the signal of a cell phone being used on the moon.
The local government hopes also to develop tourism by cashing in on the buzz surrounding the telescope. To assure the accuracy of observation, the electronic devices are strictly prohibited in the zone.