Russia today launched a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which carried a telescope for observing space, which will replace the previous model lost in January.
The Proton-M rocket successfully took off only from the third attempt, carrying the Spectrum-RG telescope, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced.
The rocket was originally supposed to take off on June 21, but the take-off was postponed due to technical problems. The take-off was then scheduled for Friday, but was eventually completed today.
The space observation telescope, developed in cooperation with Germany, will enable the replacement of the Spektr-R radio telescope (RadioAstron), called “Russian Hubble”, over which the Russian service lost control in January.
The telescope was launched in 2011 to image “black holes”, neutron stars and magnetic fields. His successor will also serve to observe space, and to “complete the map of the world”, the Russian space agency stated.
The space sector, which has been the pride of the Soviet Union for decades, has had a number of failures in recent years, but that has not jeopardized Russia’s great ambitions.
After the cancellation of a part of the program of the American NASA, Russia has been the only country since 2011 that can send a crew to the International Space Station in orbit around the Earth.
However, the recent corruption scandals in Roscosmos, as well as the competition of the American private company “Space X”, Ilona Maska, threaten that exclusivity.