Decision time for SKA bid

Decision time for SKA bid

Summary: Australia is about to learn if it has been recommended as the site for the world's most powerful telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

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Australia is about to learn if it has been recommended as the site for the world's most powerful telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

An independent scientific committee will today make a recommendation to the SKA project's board of directors in London about whether the array's core should be based in Western Australia or South Africa.

A further month of negotiations is likely before Australia is officially notified about whether it has won the $2.5 billion project.

Australia teamed up with New Zealand to put in a bid to host the SKA, which is touted as the largest and most advanced radio telescope ever to be constructed.

If the bid succeeds, 3000 dishes will extend from the central location in the Murchison region, in WA's remote northwest, across Australia and into New Zealand.

Once built, the SKA will be able to survey the sky 10,000 times faster than existing technology.

Scientists hope the SKA will provide answers about how galaxies evolve, how the first black holes and stars were formed, and whether there is any other life in space.

Behind Australia's bid is $400 million in state and federal funding, as well as a decade of scientific work. Included is $80 million, which is being spent on supercomputing resources to crunch the numbers for the telescope and other projects.

The first stages of the supercomputer, to be housed in three separate locations, have already been installed.

WA Premier Colin Barnett travelled to Europe last June to push his state's case for the array.

He said then that, if the bid was successful, the SKA would add a "whole new dimension" to WA's economy, with possibly thousands of scientists from across the world working in the state.

Suzanne Tindal contributed to this article.

Topics: Government, Government AU

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10 comments
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  • I've come to the conclusion that Australia is no place for something as scientifically advanced as the SKA with so many Luddites residing here.
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Too right Hubert.

    White elephant...

    After all who needs something 10000 times faster? What we have now is good enough, we will not need better.

    3000 dishes too, with all that radioactivity (not to mention where on earth will the Liberal party get enough 'women' to wash all these dishes).

    And what about the poor hurting taxpayer? We could build a road with that money.

    So just wait until 2013, all will be fixed when these wasteful, socialists and their pink batts are rightfully booted out and the Rhodes Scholar Tony Abbott, becomes PM.

    BYW - I have no political allegiances, this is all fact.

    Sigh...!
    Beta-9f71a
  • I do hope you are trolling, Beta, because your statements are beyond laughable.

    "After all who needs something 10000 times faster? What we have now is good enough, we will not need better."

    That's kind of like thinking "Who needs cars? The horse is good enough, we will not need better."

    And about those "poor hurting taxpaypers", yes it'll cost $400 million in government funding but it will bring in $2.5 billion for the project. (that's $2500 million just in case).

    As for your 'women washing dishes' comment, speaks for itself really.
    Vdai
    • Ye Vdai...

      I was of course, simply doing this to save those like Doubt here, who actually believe such BS in relation to the NBN, the trouble of repeating themselves.

      Did you like the 50's Abbott analogy about the dishes, apt eh?

      Humorous in a sad, sorry way isn't it? Particularly when their very own NBN argument is thrown back at them and in response they request reasoned debate...!
      Beta-9f71a
      • "Did you like the 50's Abbott analogy about the dishes, apt eh?"

        That post war era time warp bubble is real cosy for them, don't burst it!



        "We could build a road with that money."

        Speaking of roads...

        "this is all fact."

        and facts. Did you read the comment over at Delimiter about facts that actually topped "before roads there were no roads"?
        Hubert Cumberdale
        • Yes what ever happened to what's-his-name who said "before roads there were no roads" (sadly one of his more sensible comments...). You know, he is also a multiple banned poster at Delimiter...?

          The irony of his own backfiring stupidity is priceless, eh Hubert?

          I see the other two clones were banned too... and one has just been let back and the other banned under another name since...ROFL.

          And they had the gall to have a go at me...!

          Mission accomplished again!
          Beta-9f71a
  • Yes Beta, sometimes you forget yourself. Let's keep to reasoned debate please.
    Knowledge Expert
  • Well Hubert, I hear North Korea is looking for people like yourself!
    Knowledge Expert
    • "Well Hubert, I hear North Korea is looking for people like yourself!"

      Sorry but that makes absolutely no sense. Perhaps the Luddites that are against progress and science would like to move there so Australia can become a more respectable place. After all it is clear they have been looking to countries like NK for inspiration for some time now.
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • Political banter aside (how the government made it's way into here, I'll never know (gotta keep an eye on those slippery **** I hope that we win the tender for the SKA. Space sciences and computer technology are two fields that interest me immensely, and the fact that our country is underway with one (and in a position to win a second) project that can give great opportunities in the understanding and progress of their prospective fields is one of the few things I am proud to say our country is participating in.

    Please note: my opening comment is not a dig at our fellow site users (whichever side of the debate they're on), this is me picking on parliamentarians by virtue of being mostly corrupt, stupid and arrogant. To the handful of intelligent, "honest" officials, please make sure your leaders know their left from their right from their wrong (and I'm keeping that sentence that way).
    dmh_paul