We wouldn’t take this as more than a start. The $ 8 million funding is unlikely to come close to rebuilding the telescope. We asked the NSF for comment on the financial commitment, but it’s safe to assume that a recovery would require additional help.
The funds are still an important step. They signal the territory’s commitment to Arecibo and its spatial studies despite the loss. They could also encourage some members of the US government to devote the additional funds necessary to resuscitate the Observatory. Don’t be surprised if 2021 is a brighter year for installation, although any rebuilding effort is likely to take much longer.