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First phase design complete for world's largest telescope project

(Xinhua)    20:13, March 10, 2015

BEIJING, March 10 -- Design for the first phase of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project has been completed, bringing the world's largest radio telescope project one step closer to construction, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS).

SKA's first phase, encompassing two complementary world-class telescopes in Australia and South Africa, will cost 650 million euros (700 million U.S. dollars). Construction is due to start in2018, with initial observations in 2020, said a statement released Tuesday by the CAS National Astronomical Observatories.

The telescope arrays, designed to monitor and map the sky in unprecedented detail and speed, aim to improve understanding of the universe and the laws of fundamental physics.

The project is currently supported by 11 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. More than100 companies and institutions in 20 countries are involved in research and development.

The CAS, China Electronics Technology Group and many Chinese universities have a role in research and development for the project.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Yuan,Bianji)

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