Square kilometer array observatory: Portugal is a founding member

Country was the 5th to approve the Convention of the new international Observatory

The agreement establishing the foundation of the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO), a new international Observatory, was recently approved by the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic. Portugal, which had signed the Convention on 12 March 2019, is now officially part of the group of SKAO founding member countries.

The country joins the Netherlands, Italy, South Africa and Australia, cooperating in the establishment of an intergovernmental organization that aims to build and operate the largest radio telescopes in the world, which will be located in South Africa and Australia.

Despite the success of the Portuguese legislative ratification process, it is still necessary for the United Kingdom, the 3rd host country of the organization and headquarters of SKAO Global, to complete the same procedure, for the Observatory to start operating in 2021.

So far, there is already a strong Portuguese involvement in the project through the inclusion of scientists, engineers and Portuguese industry in the design and scientific development of the Observatory. When completed, the Portuguese Space Agency – Portugal Space , which acts on behalf of the Portuguese Government to promote the country in the international space market, will be the national representative at SKOA.

The Portuguese participation in the Square Kilometer Array Observatory stimulates Research & Development in the area of ​​astronomy and reinforces scientific cooperation at a global level, also being a great opportunity to promote national business and technological development.12/14/2020

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