Beijing, Sep 17 (PTI) Nan Rendong, a Chinese scientist who was the chief of the world’s largest radio telescope project, has passed away aged 72 after battling lung cancer, state media reported today.

Xinhua news agency, citing the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said Nan passed away on Friday.

As the founding father of the five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), Nan had been in charge of the project since 1994, and most of the project’s core members were Nan’s students.

Nan was diagnosed with lung cancer before FAST was put into use in September 2016, and he continued his duties despite his illness. His colleagues said that Nan’s spirit reflected his pet phrase — “Refuse to be average.” FAST is located in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. It was independently developed by China and will be helpful in investigating the universe.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.