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Spektr-R - a new radio telescope!
Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Jan 4 2009, 09:55 AM
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http://space.skyrocket.de/index_frame.htm?...radioastron.htm

Wow, this one is big!

And yes, launch was scheduled for 2008, but there was a general meeting last month (ref. laspace.ru) and looks like they are on track for launch this year! And they will use a Zenit rocket this time.

QUOTE
Main scientific goal of the mission is the study of various astronomical objects with unprecedented angular resolution up to few millionth of an arcsecond. The resolution achieved with RadioAstron will allow us in principle to study the following phenomena and problems:

* central engine of AGN and physical processes near super massive black holes providing an acceleration of cosmic rays - size, velocity and shape of emitting region in the core, spectrum, polarization and variability of emitting components;
* cosmological models, dark matter and dark energy - by studying dependence of above mentioned AGN's parameters with redshift, and by observing gravitational lensing;
* structure and dynamics of star and planets forming regions in our Galaxy and in AGN - by studying maser and Mega maser radio emission;
* neutron (quark?) stars and black holes in our Galaxy, their structure and dynamics - by VLBI and measurements of visibility scintillations, proper motions and parallaxes;
* structure and distribution of interstellar and interplanetary plasma - by fringe visibility scintillations of pulsars;
* building of high accuracy astronomical reference system of coordinates;
* building of high accuracy model of the Earth gravity field.



I say... WOW! WOW!
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Hungry4info
post Jan 5 2009, 12:25 AM
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Well that was sudden...

Two surprise missions in a row from Russia (or have I just been hiding in a cave?). What else do they have up their sleeves? This is really neat, and that they're going to launch this year either implies that they're committed and are serious, or... perhaps are being too optimistic.


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nprev
post Jan 5 2009, 03:55 AM
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Looks like a great mission! smile.gif Curious as to why they're gonna put it in HEO instead of out at a Lagrange point (solar or lunar), though; seems like you'd get a better & obviously much more constant VLBI separation. Is this just because of booster constraints?


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Del Palmer
post Jan 5 2009, 08:20 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jan 5 2009, 03:55 AM) *
Is this just because of booster constraints?


They say that "budget problems have forced a redesign" which sounds pretty constraining. smile.gif You'd need one heck of an upper stage to get that big ol' hunk of iron to L1/L2...
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Jan 11 2009, 12:16 PM
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http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=5144

Russia will launch a new telescope in 2012 called - "Spektr - RG", which will study dark energy.

"Spektr-RG" - this is something new.
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NGC3314
post Jan 11 2009, 11:20 PM
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Spektr-RG is, as best I can tell, the same as Spektr X-Gamma which has been in the works for a long time. (It's really good to see these missions moving on, along with Spektr-UV alias the World Space Observatory).

Re Radioastron (also in the works, with NASA participation on and off and on and off, for years) - a highly elliptical orbit is good for this application, since sampling a wider range of baselines (in wavelength units) improves the reconstruction of source structures. Ideally, a perigee not much more than an Earth diameter in altitude would allow nearly continuous baseline coverage with a worldwide network of radio telescopes. HALA gave substantial experience in the technique, meaning that much of the standard software kows how to deal with an orbiting station, and gave enough information on structure of such things as quasar cores to be able to design the Radioastron mission more intelligently.


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dvandorn
post Jan 12 2009, 01:08 AM
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The Russians have tried radio telescopy from LEO before -- for example, the KRT-10 they hung off the back of Salyut 6 back in 1979. As I recall, they didn't get much in the way of good data from it...

-the other Doug


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NGC3314
post Jan 12 2009, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jan 11 2009, 07:08 PM) *
The Russians have tried radio telescopy from LEO before -- for example, the KRT-10 they hung off the back of Salyut 6 back in 1979. As I recall, they didn't get much in the way of good data from it...


Indeed, a fairly concerted search hasn't turned up any mention of results in the usual Russian journals or observatory publications (note to close followers of Salyut - I'd be pleased to hear of any!). This is in contrast to the power-hungry BST-1M submillimeter telescope on Salyut 6. As best I can tell, it was used mostly for terrestrial and airglow observations, but did obtain some detections of more distant targets such as Jupiter.
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Jul 6 2009, 12:07 PM
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An update!!!

http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=6671

Looks like tests of the model are underway... Photos included!
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NGC3314
post Jul 7 2009, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Jul 6 2009, 06:07 AM) *
An update!!!

http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=6671

Looks like tests of the model are underway... Photos included!


Thanks for the pointer - after such a long haul, it's very encouraging to see full-scale tests of a complete engineering model. That also provides a great example of how to fold up a large dish antenna into a payload shroud.
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kto
post Jul 18 2011, 11:15 PM
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operational orbit reached successfully...

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=17569
http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1107/18spektr/index.html
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GEmin1
post Jul 23 2011, 12:44 PM
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Great news:
QUOTE
Orbital operations with Russian astrophysical observatory Spectrum-R which had been launched from Baikonur on July 18 continue successfully.
Radiotelescope mirror has been successfully deployed on July 23.

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=12017
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kap
post Jul 26 2011, 04:19 PM
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QUOTE (GEmin1 @ Jul 23 2011, 05:44 AM) *


I'm somewhat new to following these projects online. How much data do the Russians typically share with other scientists, and the public?

-kap
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NGC3314
post Jul 26 2011, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE (kap @ Jul 26 2011, 10:19 AM) *
I'm somewhat new to following these projects online. How much data do the Russians typically share with other scientists, and the public?

-kap


There's little direct post-USSR experience on deep-sky astro missions, but the Soviet tradition was increasingly to have data appear in the usual astronomical research journals. For Radioastron=Spektr-R, it seems there will be an open call for proposed observations - someone over at nasasaceflight.com found the English-language user's manual. This aspect would mirror the international availability of time on Hubble, Chandra, XMM-Newton, etc. as long as the proposals rank high enough in review. I'd bet the instrument team already has staked out the black holes at the Galactic Center
and in M87!
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machi
post Jul 27 2011, 09:39 AM
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Spektr-R is space radiotelescope and Radioastron is international science project, involving Spektr-R as part of radiointerferometer. So foreign scientist are involved in this project. In fact many older russian space mission were international missions or they were part of international science projects and some data from such missions are available even at PDS (Planetary Data System). For example images from Phobos spacecraft and Vega-1 and Vega-2 spacecrafts (part of IHW project).


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