The Spektr-R orbital observatory, launched in July 2011 from the Baikonur launch site was a space
component of the large international Radioastron program. The radio telescope onboard the Spektr-R
spacecraft during scientific observations was an element of a ground-space interferometer with an ultra-
large base (350,000 km), which had not been realized before in the history of astrophysical research. The
ground-based complex consisted of 58 radio telescopes located around our planet.
For the scientific community Spektr-R spacecraft has been operating as a source of valuable data about
the Universe for 7 years, which is 2.5 times longer than the planned service life. During this time, a
significant amount of data has been received, the processing of which lasted until 2021. At the moment,
the FIAN Astrocosmic Center is working on completing the collection, correlation and archiving of the
received huge volume of unique scientific data. International scientific groups continue to process,
analyze and publish the results. Based on the results of the scientists' work, a data bank of the
Radioastron project will be created. We can safely expect new scientific discoveries, since the amount of
accumulated information is impressive: it is about 5 petabytes.
The program is aimed at studying properties of interstellar matter, pulsars, astrophysical masers, cores of
active galaxies and black holes, testing Einstein's theory of relativity. During the observations a number of
important discoveries were made and hypotheses about the nature of space objects and the properties of
matter were clarified, an unsurpassed angular resolution in world astronomy was obtained – 8
microseconds of arc (such a resolution would allow from Earth to "see" a 2 cm radio wave source on the
surface of the Moon).
The scientific program resulted in studying of 250 Universe objects, more than 4 thousand observation
session were performed. Spektr-R spacecraft is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The
largest space telescope with a filled aperture".
Today telescopes are already operating onboard the Spektr-RG astrophysical Observatory. The Spektr-
RG spacecraft, developed by Lavochkina JSC, was launched on July 13, 2019 from the Baikonur launch-
site. It was developed in frame of activities under the Federal Space Program of Russia by order of the
Russian Academy of Sciences with participation of Germany. The observatory is equipped with two
unique X-ray mirror telescopes: ART-XC (IKI RAS, Russia) and eROSITA (MPE, Germany) and operates
based on the principle of oblique incidence X-ray optics. The telescopes are installed on Navigator space
platform built by Lavochkin Association and tailored for the mission. The main mission objective is to build
a map of the entire sky in the soft (0.3–8 keV) and hard (4-20 keV) ranges of the X-ray spectrum with
unprecedented sensitivity. The observatory should work in space for at least 6.5 years.
Scientists of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences process data gained from
orbit to deep space communication antennas (in Russia, Spain and Argentina) on a daily basis,
investigate previously known and discover new X-ray sources in various ares of the sky.