According to the Russian space agency, Russian Proton-M rocket called MOSCOW (AP) was successful into sending a space telescope into orbit this Saturday after a lot of delays in its schedule.
The telescope was named Spektr-RG and Roscosmos said it was delivered to its destination that is the L2 Lagrange point out of Earth’s orbit. The point is located around 1.5 million Km or 0.93 million miles away from our Earth but it is the optimal position for Spektr-RG as at this position in the solar system, everything can maintain its position.
According to the plan, the telescope will most probably land at its proposed position in almost 3 months if things remain well and good. This will be the first of Russian spacecraft to work outside of the orbit of the Earth since the Soviet era. The main aim is to finish the complete x-ray of the sky by 2025 and if this happens, it will be the first telescope to do so.
This accomplishment for Russian space agency is happening right around the time when the US space agency is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing that happened 20th of July, 1969.
After the collapse of Soviet Union, the Russian space and science missions suffered a great loss. In fact, the decrease in budgets meant the Russian space and science programs had to start with commercial efforts and missions.
The Russian space agency had two huge bumps in their previous missions. Mars 96, A Russian Mars probe was unable to leave the orbit of the Earth back in 1996. And a few years back, Fobos-Grunt, another Mars probe was attempted to launch but failed like prior back in 2011.
The Spektr-RG has been in works since the 1980s but somehow the ideas were scrapped back in 1990s. The work on it restarted again in 2005 and the aim was to make it a bit simpler, smaller and cheaper. The new form was more of a collaboration between Russian and German scientists who were involved in installing the equipment in Russian spacecraft.