SKA decision delayed

2012-04-04 16:53

Cape Town – The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation delayed the announcement of the decision on the proposed site for the SKA on Wednesday.

Members of the SKA Organisation agreed to set up a small scientific working group to explore possible implementation options that would maximise the value from the investments made by both candidate host regions.

The members wished to move ahead with the site selection process, and recognised that it is desirable to maintain an inclusive approach to SKA, the organisation said in a statement.

This working group will report back to the organisation at a meeting in mid-May, which will provide additional information to facilitate the decision.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said: "I am disappointed at the delay. I hope that the SKA organisation will make a decision in the first half of 2012 and that the decision will reflect the best scientific outcome.”

South Africa is leading Africa's bid to host the SKA radio telescope. Australia is leading an Australian/New Zealand bid.  

The SKA will consist of about 3 000 dish-shaped antennae spread over a wide area.  

If Africa wins the SKA bid, the core of the telescope will be constructed in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape, with outlying telescope stations throughout South Africa, and in Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar and Mauritius.

Pandor said: "We believe we have an excellent site at which exciting science will be done, we, in Africa, are ready to host the SKA”.

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-04 17:02

    How SA and Aus can both benefit ??? Ok then. Give us the project, we'll build the infrastructure and man the facility, AND then we'll send AUS copies of the photo's and anything else we find 'out there'

  • Sizwe - 2012-04-04 17:08


      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-04 17:14

      This will create much needed jobs. Don't sigh.

  • Hallo - 2012-04-04 17:42

    Who the hell wants to share with the ozzies.

  • Andrew - 2012-04-04 18:09

    RSA politics are probably the reason!!! Also our lack off skills and possibly power!!!

      Rupesh - 2012-04-04 20:06

      Perhaps politics but not lack of skills and power. We have clearly shown that we have the skills to do it and in fact, do it better than Oz. Remember based on pure scientific reasons, ours is a better bid.

      Johan - 2012-04-11 11:48

      We have the biggest single mirror optic telescope in the world already on SA soil at Sutherland. We also have KAT7 radio telescope in the Northern Cape which is a similar, though smaller version of SKA. KAT7 will be expanded to MeerKAT consisting of 71 dishes whether we get SKA or not, so skills is not an issue. Yes, there will be many foreign scientists working on this, but we can only benefit from it. Just think how many unskilled workers will be employed to do the groundwork, scientists tend not to enjoy spadework. Come-on people, is it that difficult to see any good in SA?

  • adam - 2012-04-20 06:26

    @news24, why remove my comment,when all I asked was...Would you invest so much money in a corrupt country, where the president has 5 wives, the ruling party are seen to be above the law, corruption is rife, and nationalisation is iminent.??? Would you???

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