Sat, 07 Dec 2019

A Russian Proton-M rocket has successfully launched a new cutting-edge space-based telescope after several days of launch delays.

The rocket launched on July 13 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the Spektr-RG space telescope aboard.

The Spektr-RG, developed together with Germany, is intended to replace the Spektr-R telescope, which Russia lost contact with in January.

The Roskosmos space agency said the Spektr-RG would continue its predecessor's mission of observing black holes, neutron stars, and magnetic fields, and would also work on a detailed map of Earth.

The launch was originally set for June 21 but was delayed twice for technical reasons.

The Spektr-RG is headed for a point some 1.5 million kilometers from Earth called the L2 Lagrange point, a unique position from which the telescope can maintain a stable position relative to the sun and the planets.

It is expected to arrive at the L2 point in three months.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Interfax

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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