MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian Proton M rocket has successfully launched a space telescope into orbit after days with startup delays on Saturday, delivered to a park orbit before a recent Saturday fire that propelled the spacecraft out of orbit to its final destination promoted: the L2-Lagrange point.
Lagrange points are unique positions in the solar system to which objects can hold their position, the sun and the planets orbiting it. L2, which is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, is particularly suitable for telescopes like Spektr-RG.
If all goes well, the telescope will reach its intended position in three months, making it the first Russian spaceship to reach this goal, working outside Earth orbit since the Soviet era. With the telescope a complete x-ray examination of the sky is to be carried out until 2025.
The Russian service is provided when the US space agency NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of Apollo 1
Russian space exploration missions have suffered greatly since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Budget cuts have forced the Russian space program to make more commercial efforts.
A Russian Mars probe called Mars 96 could not leave Earth orbit in 1996. A subsequent attempt to send a probe called Fobos-Grunt to Mars led to a similar fate occurred in 2011.
The work on the Spektr RG telescope began in the 1980s, but was scrapped in the 1990s. Spektr-RG was revived in 2005 and made smaller, simpler and cheaper.
In its modern form, the project is a close collaboration between Russian and German scientists who have both installed telescope equipment aboard the Russian spacecraft.