Spectrum-R radio telescope to monitor far space objects.

26/7 Tass 193

MOSCOW, July 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The Spectrum-R astrophysical observatory operating jointly with land-based space monitoring systems will be 30-50 times more efficient, Director of the Astro-Space Center of the Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Kardashov said.

This is the first observatory with an elliptical orbit with the apogee of 350,000 kilometers. “Jointly with land-based radio telescopes, it will be 30-50 times more efficient than they,” he said.

The radio telescope mirror (parabolic dish) of the Spectrum-R astrophysical laboratory launched from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on July 18 unfolded successfully on July 22.

The three-month period of preparations for the observatory’s work has begun, head of the Lavochkin Research and Production Center Viktor Khartov said.

The observatory has a service life of five years, he said. “The vehicle will be passing through radiation belts, and the radiation impact on its instruments will be very high. Ballistically, it will stay in orbit for nine years before entering dense layers of the atmosphere and burning,” he said.

Spetrum-R is Russia’s first automatic astrophysical laboratory for the past 25 years. It is based on the Navigator universal platform designed at Lavochkin and a ten-meter radio telescope built by Russian and foreign plants.

Spectrum-R will perform interferometer observations in conjunction with the global ground radio telescope network in order to obtain images, coordinates, motions and evolution of angular structures of different radio emitting objects in the Universe. Scientists will study pulsars, interstellar plasma, black holes and neutron stars in the Milky Way.

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