TUNA Lunch Talk:

Glen Langston


Update on the Russian RadioAstron Project

October 4

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


The RadioAstron project is the first astrophysics mission built by the Russian space agency in more than a decade. I will present a summary of the launch and give an update on the project status.

Glen I. Langston (MIT 79, Ph D. 87), Willem A. Baan (MIT MSc of 73, Ph D. 77) and others were invited by the Russian Space Agency to attend the launch of the RadioAstron Spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. We flew to Moscow for meetings, then on a Roscosmos jet to Baikonur. The launch was successful (and beautiful). The spacecraft is the heart an international radio astronomy project to study black holes, gamma ray bursts and pulsars. After the successful launch, the international visitors toured the Gagarin launch pad (see photo). The launch pad is still used for Soyuz flights to the International Space Station. Langston has been invited to collaborate with the Russian scientists by developing a science data link antenna in the US. The project is on hold due to lack of funding.

The picture shows the Gagarin Launch Pad, with attendees of the RadioAstron launch on July 18, 2011.