A project lost in January has been a successful mission in a joint venture between Russia and German. Russia has successfully launched a space Telescope known as Spektr-RG from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:31 a.m. EDT in a mission to map X-rays across the sky.

The mission was first scheduled on June 21 but was delayed twice – the first due to faulty batteries on the Proton rocket’s Block DM upper stage and the second due to a potential issue with the booster. Saturday, July 13 had its launch successful in space.

An official video posted showed a Proton-M rocket carrying the Spektr-RG that weighed more than 2.7 tonnes. According to Roscosmos, it is an observatory mission to detect and monitor 100,000 galaxy clusters, tens of thousands of star-forming galaxies, 3 million supermassive black holes, the presence of plasma (superheated gas) and many more types of objects.

The observatory includes two X-ray mirror telescopes, called ART-XC and eROSITA. ART-XC will observe the higher energies of X-rays, up to 30 keV whereas eROSITA has an energy range of 0.5 to 10 keV. Equipped on board, they will conduct a seven-year X-ray survey to search for clusters of galaxies and active galactic nuclei.

several thousand growing supermassive black holes hidden from viewers on Earth by thick clouds of dust and gas concentrating around accretion discs – Anatoly Zak, Commentator, Russian space

The Spektr-R was first launched in 2011 to observe black holes, neutron stars, and magnetic fields, aiding understanding of cosmic expansion. Its successor is also packed with similar duties but with a high-resolution all-sky map. The next launch is scheduled on July 20 that will carry an Italian and a US astronaut together with a Russian cosmonaut.

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