After considering where to replace Lembang's Boscha Observatory ind West Java, Indonesian government finally planned to build giant space observatory in East Nusa Tenggara. The country's largest space observatory will be constructed in Mount Timau, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara after deliberation from the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, or LAPAN.
According to the space agency, the selected area is a strategic location for space observation and will replace Boscha Observatory. Stephen Baha, head of Kupang District Government public relations said that Boscha was not an ideal location for space observations anymore due to the high density of residential areas as written in ANTARA.
Boscha lost its view over stars in the southern hemisphere in the late 90s after the skies surrounding it became too luminous. Currently, only 40 of 180 degrees of clear sky can be seen in Boscha.
The giant observatory on Mount Timau will be the largest of its kind in Indonesia. Construction plans for the observatory began in May after a string of Lapan study visits to Mount Timau.
"Construction will begin in 2017, with a spending fund worth trillions for the project," Stephen said, adding the construction is expected to be completed in 2019. The construction of the observatory on Mount Timau was targeted for completion in 2019 and will be operational for over a century to support developments in science and technology related to research activities of the solar system.
“Researchers from different countries will come here to conduct their research, therefore it will help in developing and expanding the local economy,” Stephen said.
Altough Indonesia will have new space observatory, the Boscha Observatory will continue operations.