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A worker performs maintenance on pipes used during brine extraction at a lithium mine in the Atacama Desert in Chile on Aug. 24. Paz Olivares Droguett for NPR hide caption

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Paz Olivares Droguett for NPR

In Chile's desert lie vast reserves of lithium — key for electric car batteries

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One of the 54 steerable dishes that make up much of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile's Atacama Desert. This one is 39 feet in diameter. Kathy Hudson/Hudson Works hide caption

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Kathy Hudson/Hudson Works

Chile And Telescopes Are A Match Made In Heaven

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A mummy of a Chinchorro child, dating to between 5000 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The Chinchorros were hunter-gatherers who lived in the region between modern-day Peru and Chile. Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images