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 RadioAstron space observatory completes its testing

Russian orbital radio telescope RadioAstron has detected the first K-band (1.3 cm wavelength) fringes from a compact quasar. Thus, the telescope has successfully passed in-orbit testing of its interferometric mode, which started in mid-November 2011, and is ready for observations. The space observatory, the first one in the Spektr series, is to be followed by X-ray and ultraviolet spacecraft.
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Around noon Moscow Time, on July 22, 2011, a poster on the online forum of the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine reported that the crucial operation of the opening of the giant flower-like antenna onboard Spektr-R/Radioastron had began. The slow-motion process was expected to take hours, however around an hour and half later, the official Russian media hurried with reports that the opening had been completed. The official RIA Novosti news agency then quoted the chief designer of the Radioastron project, Vladimir Babyshkin, as saying that the ground control had received the first telemetry confirming that the opening of antenna petals had been underway. Unofficial reports said that the opening had been almost completed, however latches of petals, which would hold the dish in open position, had failed to close requiring to repeat the process. Several following attempts to lock the antenna apparently also failed, unofficial sources said. Flight controllers several times commanded the petals to move slightly toward folding position and then move back into the open position, however a required signal for closing of latches at the tips of petals still did not come. The antenna was finally left in open but unlatched position.
A special meeting at NPO Lavochkin was scheduled for the next morning, around 09:00 Moscow Time, to evaluate the problem.
According to sources, the radio telescope would still be able to conduct its scientific studies despite an unlatched antenna, with some minor deterioration of data.

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Giant space scope RadioAstron reaches orbit

RadioAstron, a Russian radio telescope intended to be the biggest radio telescope in space, has started touring the Earth for the first time.
Once operational, the 3.8 tonne "space eye" could help focus in on many remote places of the Universe.
The device will travel in an elliptical orbit that at its furthest reaches almost as far as the Moon.

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It will have a highly elliptical orbit of around 340,000km, and an official working life of five years, although its creators hope it may last even longer.
The far-Earth orbit will bring it within 50,000km of the moon, allowing it to use the lunar gravity to change the orbit angle and see more of the sky.
Boasting a 10m diameter antenna that will unfurl from carbon-fibre petals, Spektr-R's creators say that it will be able to produce images with a resolution 100,000 times that of the famed US Hubble Space telescope.

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Russian astrophysical observatory Spektr-R has been successfully put in orbit, the Federal Space Agency Roskosmos reported on Monday.
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Russian Observatory Intended to Study the Universe Reaches the Targeted Orbit

Russian astrophysical observatory Spectrum-R has reached the targeted orbit.
The scientific spacecraft successfully separated from the Fregat-SB upper stage at 10.06 a.m. MSK. Spectrum-R was injected into orbit with altitude of about 340 thousand km.
The launch of Zenith-3M rocket with Fregat-SB upper stage and Spectrum-R occurred from Baikonurs pad 45 on July 18, at 6.31 a.m. MSK.

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Launch of Spektr-R Satellite on Zenit-2SB Rocket


The Zenit-3F carrying Spektr-R radio observatory launches in spectacular style


Zenit-3SLBF with Spektr-R



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July 18, 0231 UTC -Zenit 3F carrying Spektr R (RadioAstron) Space Radio Telescope



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Spacecraft "Spektr-R". Work in Micah.



intense preparations at Baikonur continues for the launch of the "Zenit-3M" space rocket with the "Fregat-SB" upper stage and the Russian Radioastrophysical Radioastron "Spektr-R" Observatory.
The launch of the rocket with the Radioastron "Spektr-R" radio telescope from the from 45th site Baikonur, is scheduled for 18th July.



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