ISS Reshetnev Begins Construction of Millimetron Space Telescope – Satellite Today

Millimetron Space Telescope

The Millimetron Space Telescope under construction. Photo: Roscosmos

[Via Satellite 02-06-2015] Russian satellite manufacturer ISS Reshetnev has started building the Millimetron Space Telescope, a future observatory to study the properties of black holes, stellar and planetary formation, and the nature of dark energy.

Slated to launch in 2025, the telescope will operate the 0.3-17 millimeter wavelength range for extremely precise astrophysics data. The Branch Center for Large-Dimension Transformable Mechanical Systems at ISS Reshetnev is spearheading the manufacturing, which requires a thin, 10-meter mirror where deviations in the reflecting surface must not exceed 10 microns from the ideal form. Furthermore, the mirror and reception equipment need to operate 4.5 Kelvin, very close to absolute zero. The Millimetron Space Telescope’s main mirror will use thermal protective panels along with a special cooling cryoscreen to maintain this low temperature, which is necessary to discern target signals from thermal noise. Extremely sensitive receivers will be cooled to 0.1 Kelvin with liquid helium.

ISS Reshetnev built full sized technological models of the cryoscreen, the thermal-protective panel system, and the supporting construction of the reflector, in 2014. Once the telescope is launched, it will travel approximately 1.5 million kilometers away to Lagrangian point 2 (L2) where it will take observations of deep space.

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