The decision on the Square Kilometre Array telescope was initially expected sometime around March, and it had been tipped that South Africa, rather than Australia was on course to win the bid. Now it appears that those predictions may have been premature, as the SKA Organisation has instead decided to set up a working group to examine the bids.
AFP reports that the SKA team has decided that it needs more time to assess each of the $2 billion bids for the world’s largest telescope array. It quotes a statement that reads:
They noted that it is important to maximise the value from the investments made by both candidate host regions. They therefore agreed to set up a small scientific working group to explore possible implementation options that would achieve this. This working group will report back to the members at a meeting in mid-May; its report will provide additional information to facilitate the site decision for SKA.
Given it was tipped that South Africa was emerging as the most likely candidate, does this mean that Australia’s hopes of securing SKA aren’t quite over yet?