One of the most important space missions was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome on 13 July 2019 (14:31 CEST). The launch was, initially, scheduled for June 21st, however it was postponed three times due to technical issues of the “Proton M” launcher.
The telescope, named Spektr-RG, is a Russia-Germany joint venture that will map the entire X-ray sky with unprecedented detail. It is made up of two instruments, “eRosita” (Germany) and “Art-XC” (Russia), and marks the beginning of a new era for X-ray Astronomy.
After travelling for 1.5 million kilometres, it will reach its observing position around the the Earth-Sun system. The mission is scheduled to last for, at least, seven years. However, within six months, it will have scanned the whole sky, mapping the X-rays that flow into the universe.
The telescope is expected to observe about one hundred thousand galaxy clusters and more than three million supermassive black holes, among others, in order to study the expansion of the universe and the nature of the mysterious dark energy.
Watch the launch!