Key scientists favour SA to host SKA - report
Cape Town - South Africa's chances of hosting the world's largest space telescope received a massive boost after a key scientific panel recommended it be awarded the €1.5bn project, a report said on Friday.
The Square Kilometre Array will allow astronomers to see billions of years back in time with the telescopes using the science of radio interferometry, where several telescopes observe a single body and the data is combined to give a more accurate picture.
A group of 20 countries will share the financial burden and the results of what is dubbed ''the experiment of the century'', Australian newspaper The Canberra Times reported.
The SKA site advisory committee made a confidential report last month judging the South African-led bid was stronger than a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand.
The option to spread the array across eight nations in southern Africa was judged the better bid in part due to lower costs to power the telescope and transfer the massive amounts of data, the newspaper said.
The final decision now rests with a vote of four countries - China, Italy, Britain and Holland - represented on the board of directors for the project, and is expected on April 4.