Launch Will Create A Radio Telescope Larger Than Earth (fwd)

Willie Koorts (
Sat, 8 Feb 1997 08:58:48 +0200 (GMT+0200)

Hi folks

This was passed on to ASTRO by Ron Baalke and I was just wondering how 
bright this satellite would be - any bets?


---------------Forward message--------------
RELEASE:  97-24


       NASA and the National Radio Astronomy 
Observatory are joining with an international 
consortium of space agencies to support the launch of 
a Japanese satellite next week that will create the 
largest astronomical "instrument" ever built -- a 
radio telescope more than two-and-a-half times the 
diameter of the Earth that will give astronomers their 
sharpest view yet of the universe.


      The 26-foot diameter orbiting radio telescope 
will observe celestial radio sources in concert with a 
number of the world's ground-based radio telescopes.  
The 1,830-pound satellite will be launched from ISAS' 
Kagoshima Space Center, at the southern tip of Kyushu, 
one of Japan's main islands, and will be the first 
launch with ISAS' new M-5 series rocket.

      The satellite will go into an elliptical orbit, 
varying between 620 to 12,400 miles above the Earth's 
surface.  This orbit provides a wide range of 
distances between the satellite and ground-based 
telescopes, which is important for producing a high-
quality image of the radio source being observed. One 
orbit of the Earth will take about six hours.

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