The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Space: The Russian Frontier

The Spektr-R radio observatory launched on a Zenit rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

          Today the Russians launched the Spekt-R  radio telescope into orbit. The orbiting telescope will be synched with a ground-based telescopes across the world, creating the effect of having a single telescope the size of the earth.

Credit: Lebedev Physical Isntitute/Astro Space Center

     The primary mission of the observatory is to study black holes and pulsars. Maybe, if we ask nicely, they'll share with us. The Republican-led House's proposed budget cuts have eliminated funding for the American proposed orbital telescope pictured below.

     The $6.5 billion James Webb telescope would have replaced the 20 year old Hubble observatory.

     It is sad that the day has come when the Russians have passed us in space exploration.

     Of course they don't have a war in Afghanistan any more...or Iraq, or Libya, or Yemen, or Pakistan, or....

     Be seeing you.

Artist's concept of the Spektr-R satellite in orbit. Credit: NPO Lavochkin

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