Affordable star gazing?
MY ever-observant wife passed me a glossy blue pullout from the bumph that weighs one down when collecting the Sunday papers. Issued by the Department of Science and Technology, it says that the most powerful radio telescope in the southern hemisphere is to be built near Cape Town at a cost of R15 billion. Commencing in five years time, completion will be in 2024. Bright young engineers and scientists will find the challenges of upgrading the Internet and building a new breed of computers, a thousand times faster than those we have today, quite irresistable.
Scientists using 3 000 antenna will be able to study how the universe evolved over 14 billion years. Square kilometre array (SKA) scientists will collect more data in a week than humans have managed over thousands of years.
Wonderful: I love star gazing and satellite watching, but I have a few questions. Can a country with 25% of its workforce unemployed afford it? Can a country that has to import food afford it? How many jobs will the project create? McGILLYCUDDY