China—already a world leader in smog, Donald Trump shout-outs, and troubling viral hits—is now looking to conquer new ground. Alien ground, specifically.

But before it can call “first” in the ill-advised hunt for our inevitably warring alien neighbors, it needs to build the biggest radio telescope in the world. And before it can do that, 9,110 residents of the Pingtang and Luodian counties need to get the hell out and find somewhere else to live.

Any newly evacuated residents will at least get to walk away with $1,900 in compensation, as well as the knowledge that, when the world ends at the many, many hands of a superior extraterrestrial race, they helped make the dream a reality.

From The Guardian:

Once the telescope is fully functional, those movable panels will be used to reflect radio signals from distant parts of the universe towards a 30-tonne retina capable of gathering them, the China Daily newspaper reported during tests last November.

... In an editorial celebrating China’s scientific triumph last July, the South China Morning Post boasted: “If we are ever to make contact with aliens, China may play a key role … our eyes and ears are closing in on the possibility of life on another planet.”

Best of luck to China and its many displaced residents. You’ve been warned.

[h/t The Guardian]

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