The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array (VLA) is a site I've always wanted to visit and the movie, Contact, just renewed that interest when it was released a few years ago. I don't know how many times I've passed by Socorro, NM, on my way to southern New Mexico to photograph the birds at Bosque del Apache NWR or White Sands NM, but I vowed this time to do it! The VLA is comprised of three long arms (60 degrees apart) with multiple 30m(?) diameter dishes, which can be reconfigured by either "collapsing" the arms or extending them further apart. This is accomplished by using a 24-wheeled double-tracked (on rails) carrier (resembles a giant furniture dolly). The antennas are unbolted from their piers, the carrier wheeled underneath and then the whole works is lifted up, moved to another position and set down carefully and rebolted. The facility is in use 24 hours a day and scientists worldwide reserve time on the system, upload their experiment with specific instructions and the operators on-site conduct the experiment and relay the results back. We were fortunate to be able to watch as the whole line of antennas was repointed a different direction. The visitor center has several nice displays and there is a self-guided loop walk you can take around the facility. Highly recommended if you have an interest in science. The VLA is located 44 miles west of Socorro off Highway 60.