New equipment funded for Joint Russian-German Spektrum-RG Observatory
The future Spektrum-RG observatory
Replacing electronic equipment for the future Spektrum-RG observatory due to the new estimates of radiation levels cost German participants of this project about five million euros (approximately $5.2 million), Mikhail Pavlinsky, the head of Russian Space Research Institute, said Tuesday.
The Spektrum-RG is an X-ray observatory project run jointly by a number of space agencies, including Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and German Space Agency (DLR).
"We have considered a low Earth orbit, close to the equator. Unfortunately, the radiation levels are different at the L-point, so all the electronic equipment had to be replaced. Our German partners said that moving from one orbit to another cost about five million euros," Pavlinsky said.
The Spektrum-RG observatory is supposed to be placed at Lagrange point L2, one of several orbital locations where gravitational forces of two large celestial bodies balance out a centrifugal force of a smaller third body, stabilizing the latter and making L-points perfect for the observatories.
Spektrum-RG is expected to be launched in the spring of 2018 with eRosita X-ray grazing-incidence mirror telescope and ART-XC X-ray mirror telescope as its two principal instruments.