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Quiet Skies Could Be Key To SKA Bid Success

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wayne Mapp
Wayne Mapp

The joint New Zealand-Australia bid to host the multi-billion dollar Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project was the centre of attention at the annual international SKA forum in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

"SKA is a visionary project," Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp said today. "It is globally funded, involving 20 countries. It will be the most powerful radio telescope in the world, with a collecting area of a square kilometre.

"SKA will generate an enormous range of opportunities in technology, industry and education. We are determined to make the most of these opportunities.

"My Australian counterpart Senator Kim Carr and I briefed forum members on progress with our bid and at our site," he said.

"The Anzac bid has clear advantages over South Africa, the other short-listed bid. We have the ideal site. Our skies are quieter and clearer. There is much less radio interference because there are fewer people, and quiet is essential to pick up faint signals from billions of light years away.

"New Zealand and Australia together can achieve the best possible SKA project. It is an unparalled opportunity to do outstanding science - to actually solve some of the mysteries of the universe," the Minister said.

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