Origins of strife: Musk on collision course with astronomers in ...

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Origins of strife: Musk on collision course with astronomers in SA

Fight for control of sensitive radio frequencies is so heated the UN has been called on by scientists to intervene

Senior reporter

SA-born industrial entrepreneur Elon Musk’s endeavours to bring satellite-linked internet access to the world has him on a collision course with astronomers exploring deep space for the origins of life.

The collision is happening in the centre of the Northern Cape, where highly sensitive radio telescopes, under the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, are located.

Home to the MeerKAT radio telescope, on completion the SKA project will have 197 telescopes installed in an area declared by SA law a Radio Quiet Zones (RQZ). When completed, the SKA, which will have telescopes in SA and Australia, will be the world’s largest radio observatory...

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