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The official race for the Square Kilometre Array may be over soon, with the official announcement expected Feb/March 2012. But that isn't stopping South Africa continuing to campaign publicly about how their site will be best....


S.Africa ideal for world's largest telescope: minister, SpaceDaily.com (13 Dec 2011)

South Africa is well-placed to host the world's largest telescope because the costs would be lower, according to the deputy science minister.
...
But cheaper labour, construction and electricity also gave South Africa the country an advantage over Australia, said Justin Jonas, the engineer and astronomer who heads the project in the country.
...
"SA has pretty much ideal conditions for astronomy," said Hanekom.

I haven't heard much from the NZ government or community lately (please do let me know in the comments of anything I've missed, and I'll happily retract this). IBM (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ibm-prototype-could-help-manage-data-deluge-world’s-largest-telescope-aw-105617) at least are keeping it in the news, from a technology angle – but I suspect they'll be happy wherever it is built, provided they get the IT contract.

A space consultant from Australia told me last year that who wins this bid could be heavily influenced by how engaged the People are in the project (I'm guessing this relates to support for law changes to secure the sites and radio-free skies, and use of public funds). From what I've heard, South Africa are doing a pretty good job at winning hearts and minds of the public, but I can't help but think that NZ has been relatively quiet on this front.

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