NZ, Australia join forces to bid for $3.1 billion international science project

Square Kilometre Array

It has appeared that with the aim to bid for a $3.1 billion international science project, having the potential to revolutionize people's understanding of the universe, the New Zealand and Australian governments have joined forces.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) large scale telescope is being said to be the one of the world's most momentous science projects.

Once the telescope is completed, it will be up to 100 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope.

Friday saw the signing of a formal arrangement between the governments in Sydney, under which they agreed to jointly host the telescope project.

The desire to host the project has also been expressed by South Africa. It will be in 2012 that the host site will be made public.

According to Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee, "The telescope will use up to 4,000 antennas over a 5,000km baseline to explore the universe and promises to be one of the top global science projects of the century."

The project was described as a ground-breaking opportunity by the head of the New Zealand SKA research and development consortium.