WASHINGTON—This month’s deadline for submitting proposals for the $44 billion Superconducting Supercoilider has left the Department of Energy with 43 places to put the world’s biggest scientific construction project.

All of the states expected to be in the running (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 1) submitted their bids on time, although California’s arrived with only eight minutes to spare after a legislative fight on affirmative action hiring goals. Some states couldn’t decide on a preferred site, so they submitted multiple proposals. A handful of contenders who had been snubbed by their states managed to put together their own packages. And there’s even one bid that’s out of this world.

“It doesn’t need to be a hole in the ground,” declared Paul Jablonka, a part-time graduate student in computer sciences at the University of Arizona whose proposal calls for the SSC to be located in orbit. Jablonka believes that...

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