Man arrested Mauna Kea telescope facility rammed by vehicle

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A man is under arrest after police say he rammed a vehicle into a radio telescope facility atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory says it doesn’t appear Tuesday’s incident damaged the radio telescope antenna.

Two employees who were on site at the Very Long Baseline Array are uninjured. The facility’s fence, building and vehicles are damaged.

Hawaii County police say a Kailua-Kona man is being held on suspicion of criminal property damage.

The Very Long Baseline Array is a radio telescope system with 10 dish antennas. In addition to Mauna Kea, there’s one in St. Croix and eight on the mainland. The system is controlled remotely from New Mexico.

Spokesman Dave Finley says there’s no indication the incident is related to protests against the planned Thirty Meter Telescope.

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