“Russia’s Hubble” –Roskosmos Launches New Space Radio Astronomy Observatory

Spektr-RG

 

Russia launched a new space telescope Saturday, the Spektr-RG, developed with Germany, is a space observatory intended to replace the Spektr-R, known as the “Russian Hubble”, which Roskosmos said it lost control of in January. Spektr-R was launched in 2011 to observe black holes, neutron stars and magnetic fields. Its successor will take up similar duties but will also map X-rays across the entire sky in unprecedented detail that will help trace the large-scale structure of the Universe.

The hope is Spektr-RG can provide fresh insights on the accelerating behavior of cosmic expansion, as well as identifying a staggering number of new X-ray sources, including three million supermassive black holes that reside at the center of galaxies. As gas falls into these monsters, the matter is heated and shredded and “screams” in X-rays.

Hubble’s “Big-Bang” View of Universe –‘No Image Will Surpass This One’

Video posted on the website of the Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, showed a Proton-M rocket carrying the Spektr-RG taking off from the launch pad at Baikonur. The launch was originally scheduled for June 21 but was postponed twice because of a battery problem.

“Pristine Window On the Cosmos” –China’s Chang’E 4 Unveils ‘Secrets’ of Moon’s Far Side

Russia’s space program, long a source of great pride to the nation, has suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in recent years, although the country remains committed to ambitious projects.

“The Milky Way Base” –China Names First Human-Technology Landing Site on Moon’s Far Side

Since 2011, Russia has been the only country capable sending teams to the International Space Station (ISS). But a series of recent setbacks together with corruption scandals within Roskosmos and the competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX have threatened its monopoly.

“The Last Photon Orbit” –Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole ‘On Deck’ for the EHT

The next launch to the ISS is scheduled for July 20 and will carry an Italian and US astronauts together with a Russian cosmonaut.

The Daily Galaxy via BBC and AFP

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