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Spektr-R, Russia’s Only Space Radio Telescope, Stops Responding to Commands



The Spektr-R radio telescope at the Baikonur Space Center, within the integration and testing complex of the launch platform number 31.
Photo: RIA Novosti (Wikimedia Commons)

L & # 39 Russia's only orbiting space radio telescope, Spektr-R (RadioAstron), has stopped responding to the shuttle control staff, BBC reported Saturday, although space center director Astro Nikolai Kardashev told the BBC that he is still transmitting scientific data.

Spekt-R has a flat 33-foot radio antenna that works in conjunction with terrestrial radio telescopes in an international program. According to the BBC, the Roscosmos staff claimed that the vessel, launched in July 2011 on a rocket sacrificial rocket Zenit-3F, operated well beyond a five-year original duration. He stopped responding on Friday, despite repeated attempts to re-establish a connection. Head of research Spektr-R Yuri Kovalev told the BBC "there is still hope" that the Roscosmos staff will be able to restore functionality.

"The specialists in the main space vehicle control group are carrying out the work to remove the existing problems … Starting from January 10, 2019, problems have arisen in the operation of service systems that they currently make it impossible to tackle a targeted task, "Roscosmos wrote in a statement to TASS, the Russian state-run news agency.

Further details on the nature of the malfunction were not immediately available.

Russia Beyond, another media source of the Russian state, reported in 2016 that Spektr-R should continue to operate at least until the end of 2018, with research that included nuclei and magnetic fields, quasars and pulsars, and other space projects:

The new program focuses on studies of the inner regions of active galactic nuclei and magnetic fields, the monitoring of the brightest quasars, the search for water vapor clouds in space, pulsars and interstellar matter, gravitational experimentation , etc.

The RadioAstron project is based on a ten-meter orbital radio telescope, the only Spektr-R astrophysical observatory that forms an integrated radio interferometer with a super-large base along with ground-based radio telescopes. the task of conducting fundamental astrophysical studies in electromagnetic spectrum bands. RadioAstron has a record discrimination based on distances of up to 350,000 kilometers between telescopes.

As it was first launched in 2011, SpaceNews reported that the boat was originally scheduled for a launch in 2004 or 2005 "before encountering multiple delays in its construction."

Another radio telescope more recently, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), is not yet fully operational, but it made headlines this week when it detected 13 new rapid radio bursts, mysterious high-energy impulses from unknown and distant sources that have traveled billions of years through the galaxy. Possible explanations for fast radio bursts include magnetars (rapidly rotating neutron stars), neutron white-neutron star merges, collapsed stars, black holes, and – much to the last place in terms of evidence – a kind of artificial and extraterrestrial source. CHIME's discoveries were the second repeat of fast radio bursts, although the mission staff told Science Magazine this week that they hope to find hundreds or even thousands of quick radio bursts at the end.

[BBC]


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