SAfrica stops short of being disappointed over SKA verdict

May 25, 2012

South Africa stopped short of expressing disappointment after it failed to win the bid to single-handily host the world's most powerful radio telescope.

It will co-host with Australia the radio telescope that would give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe, the (SKA) project announced in the Netherlands Friday.

Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor said the decision to split the hosting of SKA was "unexpected".

"We had hoped the unambiguous recommendation (to build the telecsope in one location) ... would be accepted as the most sound scientific outcome; however we accept the compromise in the interest of progress," she told reporters.

Justin Jonas, a leading South African scientist with the telescope project said: "One may feel that this is a compromise situation, we might feel slightly disappointed that we didn't get the whole thing, but I think we should emphasise that we did get the majority of ... one of the largest in the world.

He added that it was a "turning point in Africa where we are becoming a destination for science and engineering, and not just perhaps a place where there are resources."

The two southern-hemisphere countries had been fighting fiercely to host the innovation, billed as a revolutionary giant that will be 50 times more powerful than present . New Zealand is included in Australia's bid.

Conceived more than two decades ago, the Square Kilometre Array aims at bringing together unprecedented size and .

Explore further: ESA's planetary defence test set for 2020

Related Stories

Further delays signalled in super-telescope plan

Apr 04, 2012

The international consortium behind a plan to build the world's most powerful radio telescope on Wednesday signalled further delays in deciding whether it should be hosted by South Africa or Australia.

Debate still raging on site for super-telescope

Mar 23, 2012

An international consortium planning to build the world's most powerful radiotelescope is still debating whether South Africa or Australia should host the $2 billion project, an official said Friday.

Recommended for you

ESA's planetary defence test set for 2020

6 minutes ago

If an asteroid were spotted headed towards Earth, what could humanity do about it? ESA's latest mission is part of a larger international effort to find out.

Brief moon eclipse coming April 4

5 hours ago

A brief total eclipse of the Moon may be visible on April 4 to skywatchers in western North America, Australia and East Asia, astronomers say.

Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

Mar 31, 2015

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.