One place where South Dakota keeps beating Minnesota is the Homestake Sanford Lab. In 2007, the National Science Foundation picked the old gold mine at Lead over the Soudan Mine in northern Minnesota for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. We won then on depth (Soudan goes down 2,341 feet; Homestake, 4,850 and 7,400, which means a lot less interference from cosmic radiation) and local support (i.e., Denny Sanford and state cash). NSF scaled DUSEL down in 2011, but now another NSF-funded project, the Dual Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics, may come keep the Homestake Lab in business for decades:

A $30 million to $50 million experiment that scientists plan to operate for several decades has selected the Sanford Lab as its site.

The DIANA (Dual Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics) experiment seeks to simulate nuclear reactions that take place within stars, in order to understand how these reactions produce all of the natural elements observed in our universe.

For months, DIANA scientists have been examining potential underground sites at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and at the Kimballton Mine in Virginia. DIANA spokesman Dr. Michael Weischer, from the University of Notre Dame, said the selection was based on a number of criteria, including cost efficiency, local support, accessibility, and other major factors. When making the site selection, he said local support and cost efficiency were the factors that were strongest at the Sanford Lab [Wendy Pitlick, "Sanford Lab Selected!" Black Hills Pioneer, 2013.05.18].

Lab director Michael Headley says construction could begin in 2015. We could start smashing atoms before the end of the decade and keep going for 20 to 30 years.

But pay attention, budget hawks:

However, Headley was also careful to point out that federal funding for final design and construction of the experiment has not yet been approved. Weischer confirmed this, saying his collaboration is anxiously awaiting a federal budget approval, in hopes that they will be allowed to move forward with the research [Pitlick, 2013.05.18].

That sounds like a shout-out to Senator Thune and Representative Noem: Washington does have a spending problem, and that's not spending enough on science and South Dakota. If we want this victory over Minnesota to stick, we need our Congresspeople to fill in the blank on that science budget line.