An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday the Radioastron Spektr-R satellite was successfully launched from Baikonur cosmodrome. It became first launch of an astronomical satellite in 25 years for Russia. Its mission is to search the Universe for black holes, quasars, pulsars, and other mysterious objects. Using a highly elliptical orbit of around 340,000 km it will conduct interferometer observations (in conjunction with the global ground radio telescope network) with the extraordinarily high angular resolution. The project's life expectancy is 5 years but its creators are hoping for it to work at least twice as long."