Russian Space Telescope Lifts Off, Will Be The Biggest Telescope Ever
A new Russian space telescope that will work in concert with radio telescopes on the ground launched earlier today, capping an effort that germinated during the Cold War. It will be the biggest telescope ever, with an effective antenna size spanning 30 times the diameter of the Earth.
The RadioAstron telescope has a 10-meter antenna, a tenth of the size of the biggest radio telescopes on Earth, but when combined with ground-based observatories it will be huge — with a resolution up to 10,000 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Russian space telescope unfurls giant antenna
A giant new Russian space telescope on Saturday unfurled its dish-like antenna which will observe radio waves from galaxies and black holes billions of light years away. The operation to deploy the 10-metre-diameter antenna of the Spketr-R telescope, which was launched into orbit on Monday, has been successfully carried out, space agency Roskosmos said in a statement.
"According to telemetry data, the planned programme was carried out in full," Roskosmos said.
Interfax said scientists at the Lavochkin institute outside Moscow had begun on Friday the tricky operation to open up the plates of the dish like petals on a flower but initially encountered potentially major problems.
"It was not possible on Friday for all 27 of the petals to go into their final position despite numerous attempts to open them," a space industry source, who was not named, told the agency.
A fresh attempt was made on Saturday and now all the petals are in their working position, the source said.
|Liveleak on Facebook|