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Square Kilometer Array board makes decision: Africa and Australasia to share telescope

from BBC

"We have decided on a dual site approach," said SKA board Chairman John Wommersley at a press conference following a meeting of the SKA organization's members. The SKA is a $2 billion mega-project to build the world's most sensitive radio telescope consisting of 3,000 separate dishes spread out over thousands of kilometers. The project planning has been ongoing for nearly 20 years. After a global competition to host the telescope, a partnership of eight African countries led by South Africa, and a partnership between Australia and New Zealand emerged as the two finalists. Two months ago, the SKA Site Selection Advisory Committee issued its confidential report. Several news stories on the report's contents, including a press report by Nature News, had indicated that the committee's recommendation was that the project be awarded to the African partners. Under the SKA board's May 25 decision, Africa will host more than two-thirds of the 3,000 dishes. The official announcement indicates that the Australian/New Zealand facility will work at low frequencies while the African array will work at midfrequencies. more

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