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Russia launches major new telescope into space.

Moscow, July 14 (BNA): A Russian Proton-M rocket successfully delivered a cutting-edge space telescope into orbit Saturday after days of launch delays, Russia's space agency said.

Roscosmos said the telescope, named Spektr-RG, was delivered into a parking orbit before a final burn Saturday that kicked the spacecraft out of Earth's orbit and on to its final destination: the L2 Lagrange point, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Lagrange points are unique positions in the solar system where objects can maintain their position relative to the sun and the planets that orbit it. Located 1.5 million kilometers (0.93 million miles) from Earth, L2 is particularly ideal for telescopes such as Spektr-RG.

If all goes well, the telescope will arrive at its designated position in three months, becoming the first Russian spacecraft to operate beyond Earth's orbit since the Soviet era. The telescope aims to conduct a complete x-ray survey of the sky by 2025, the first space telescope to do so.

The Russian accomplishment comes as the US space agency NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969.

Work on Spektr-RG telescope began in the 1980s but was scrapped in the 1990s. Spektr-RG was revived in 2005 and redesigned to be smaller, simpler and cheaper.

In its modern form, the project is a close collaboration between Russian and German scientists, who both installed telescope equipment aboard the Russian spacecraft.

F.K.N.

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Publication:Bahrain News Agency
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jul 14, 2019
Words:257
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