Telescope not an easy sell amid SA’s poverty scars

IT IS a difficult sales pitch: a multibillion-dollar giant telescope used to investigate phenomena so esoteric years of study are required to understand them. Countries planning to build large scientific infrastructure have to sell the project and its objectives to their citizens. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a good example of this. The telescope will comprise thousands of antennas

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Belt-tightening hits SA’s SKA budget

South Africa’s radio astronomy ambitions are feeling the pinch of austerity as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2016 budget cuts its Square Kilometre Array (SKA) allocation by R250-million. (*The department later noted that this was an error in the budget. The budget decreased by R89-million.) The SKA will be the largest radio telescope in the world, and will be co-hosted by

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SA’s SKA plans get a R40-million boost

South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) infrastructure designs got a R40-million injection from the European Union (EU) on Tuesday. The SKA, which has a conservative price tag of €2-billion, will be the world’s largest radio telescope, comprising thousands of antennae throughout Australia and Africa, with the core in South Africa’s Northern Cape. It will attempt to answer some of science and

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Square Kilometre Array needed to train next generation of scientists — Pandor

Flagship initiatives such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project “have the potential to support our training and production of the next generation of scientists and technologists in Africa”, science and technology minister Naledi Pandor told the opening plenary of South Africa’s inaugural Science Forum. “Scientists need iconic, challenging initiatives that will respond to their search for new knowledge and

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SKA one step closer to being another CERN

China this week joined a “select” group of countries that had entered into negotiations to create a treaty organisation to govern the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the SKA Organisation said on Tuesday. The SKA, which has a conservative price tag of €2-billion, will be the world’s largest radio telescope, comprising thousands of antennae throughout Australia and Africa with the core

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SKA Organisation gives smaller design the green light

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) phase one will now move into its final pre-construction phase, smaller than initially anticipated but within the EUR650-million budget cap. Construction will begin in 2018. The giant telescope, which will comprise thousands of antennae in Australia and Africa, with the core in South Africa, will be the largest scientific experiment in the world and will

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All systems so for SKA

African ministers of science and technology will return home this week with a plan to ready their countries for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and a network of radio telescopes on the continent. The giant telescope, which will comprise thousands of antennae in Australia and Africa with the core in South Africa, will be the largest scientific experiment in the

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Square Kilometre Array confident of attracting new members

Although Germany has now withdrawn officially from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation, the international body tasked with the pre-construction phase of the world’s largest radio telescope, the organisation was “absolutely” confident that new members would join. The telescope will compromise thousands of radio antennae in Africa and Australia, with its core in South Africa’s Northern Cape. It will analyse the faint

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How to calculate the returns on star-gazing

Analysis Countries do not buy into massive scientific projects just for the prestige or to placate their scientists. Even projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the largest scientific instrument on Earth, have to offer member countries something other than collaboration and advancement. This is why the principle of juste retour (fair return on investment) comes

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