(CNN) -- "Interstellar radio has lost one of its most avid listeners.
A collection of sophisticated radio telescopes in California that scan the heavens for extraterrestrial signals has suspended operations because of lack of funding, a spokeswoman said Monday.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute operates the Allen Telescope Array, the field of dish-like scopes some 300 miles north of San Francisco. The telescopes are a joint effort of SETI and University of California-Berkeley's Radio Astronomy Lab and have been funded largely by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who donated more than $25 million to the project.
A state budget crisis and reduced federal dollars have choked the project of funding, said Karen Randall, SETI's director of special projects."