News & AnalysisRadio Astronomy

Russia Launches a Telescope, Decades in the Making

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Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 512
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.512

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Summary

Champagne corks were popping in Russia last week after the country's first successful launch of an orbiting observatory in the post-Soviet era. Spektr-R, a radio-astronomy satellite, was originally planned in the early 1980s, but its construction was left in limbo by lack of funding when the economy collapsed after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was finally launched on 18 July. The goal of the satellite is to work with ground-based radio telescopes to create images of unprecedented precision.

  • * With reporting by Dennis Normile in Tokyo.