Last month I wrote about eRosita - X-ray space telescope built and launched in scientific collaboration between Germany and Russia. The whole project has been postponed several times for various reasons - the last one on the launching day in early July at Baikonur due to not passing the battery test. However, eRosita is launched, so far so good, and it's on its way to the second Lagrangian point (L2) (picture below). The L2 point is a fixed point in a 3 body system (Sun, Earth, Satellite).
L2 orbit is very crucial for all the astronomy satellite since it gives the instrument nice protection from the Solar energy and all the heating that can heat the instruments, and they love really cold stuff and are usually cooled down with liquid helium. Anyways if you are interested in all the lagrangian points and how they work, head over this wiki page.
Here is an animation of how it will observe the whole sky. Now he fun part is - Russians will keep the Northern hemisphere for themselves while Germans are taking Southern one. Luckily for me, since my Supervisor and department have collaboration with Max Planck so we will get the newest data of the things we observe in Radio and Optical from VLT.
Moving on, we are still with Roscosmos and this is a huuuge step in science, especially the astronautics and robotics....
SKYBOT FEDOR 850 is a new generation of anthropomorphic space robot which will substitute astronauts (or cosmonauts) on their spacewalk. The Launch and deployment will be in 9 days (22nd of August). It was developed by the Android Technology Company and the Advanced Research Fund on a technical assignment from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.
In the interview, Alexandar Bloshenko (Александар Блошенко) explained the test that will be conducted on the upcoming ISS mission.
In case all the tests are a success, the next generation of FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) robots will be tested during the extravehicular activities. In the future, this will allow minimizing the risks for the ISS crew while organizing open space repair and maintenance works at the station and other spacecraft said Bloshenko.
And just in case Full interview in Russian.
Now you wonder, how will the robot operate all the stuff, it needs to move, figure out all the stuff - well science is progressing so fast - and science with VR is just future, not just in robotics and astronomy but also in medicine, biology and basically all sciences.
Here is a photo of testing the robot in one of the science facilities in Russia.
And for the end, few more details on the Baikonur cosmodrome. eRosita was launched using Proton-M heavy-lift launch vehicle for the last time. Proton rocket family will be replaced by the new generation - Agnara 5.
Also Fedor will be carried by the Soyuz MS-14 unmanned spacecraft which is another test launch for the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket. it has been used for launching cargo vessels and spacecraft into orbits - with an ultimate goal to replace an older version Soyuz-FG carrier rocket which has been operational since 2002.
oh I almost forgot... check out the footage from the final experiment of this new amazing piece of tech.