L’espace : la nouvelle frontière de l’Afrique du Sud

JOHANNESBURG – En accueillant la Coupe du Monde ce mois-ci, l’Afrique du Sud est prête à défier l’image d’une Afrique trop pauvre et troublée pour organiser l’un des plus grands spectacles au monde. Avec la poursuite de ses recherches sur les confins de l’univers – l’espace profond – l’Afrique du Sud espère apporter une preuve supplémentaire que les Africains peuvent être compétitifs à tous les niveaux.

L’Afrique du Sud investit lourdement pour rejoindre les leaders mondiaux de la recherche spatiale. Le gouvernement investit dans les « micro » satellites, à partir de sa plateforme déjà existante de SumbandilaSat.

Elle concentre aussi tous les efforts africains pour accueillir ce qui devrait être l’un des plus importants instruments scientifiques au monde, le radiotélescope Square Kilometer Array (SKA). Le SKA, dont l’important ensemble de paraboles serait réparties sur neuf pays africains, est la prochaine génération de télescopes qui permettra d’observer les nuages de gaz des premiers âges de l’univers à une puissance 100 fois supérieure à celle du plus puissant télescope actuel, le Very Large Array au Nouveau Mexique.

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