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Space Science

Russia Launches Delayed Radiotelescope 35

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the us-declares-satellite-communist-deception dept.
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."
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Russia Launches Delayed Radiotelescope

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  • The Russians??!?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frangible (881728) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:12PM (#36814858)
    I'm shocked. If only we could form some sort of giant national space agency to compete with Russia in space. Nah, it'd be expensive, and we'd probably need a bunch of German scientists or something.
  • by Benfea (1365845) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:46PM (#36815220)
    Why should Paris Hilton's pet chihuahua suffer wearing cheaper jewelery just because some undeserving peasant wants to go to school, or doesn't want his child to starve, or doesn't want to drown in a flood? If peasants really want those things, they can get them for themselves! Stop punishing the chihuahua just because you're a lazy bum who thinks the government has the right to force innocent corporations to not poison toddlers! Commies! you're all a buncha commies! [/conservolibertarianstrawman]
  • Re:Well done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:46PM (#36815232) Homepage

    Well done Russia. Finally some competition in space research area.

    Here in this reality, there's never been a lack of competition - the ESA, among many others, has been launching research birds for decades. Hell, even Canada has launched a small space telescope [astro.ubc.ca].
     

    Maybe this will also get NASA some badly needed funds.

    NASA has plenty of funds. What NASA doesn't have is consistently competent management, accounting, or engineering. Yes, engineering. If they don't do their jobs rights, including cost and risk estimation and development planning, then the others can't do theirs either. (Yes, bean counting is part of engineering.) Exacerbating the impact of NASA's inability to consistently and reasonably project cost and schedule is Congress and the general public insisting that each and every NASA project be groundbreaking and cutting edge, be on budget and on schedule, and have a 100% success rate. (In the real world, you get to pick two as the saying goes.)
     
    When you expect an agency to accomplish three impossible things before breakfast (and NASA is nearly unique among US government agencies in this respect) - you're setting the stage for problems. It shouldn't surprise anyone therefore when problems regularly occur.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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